Crime was born with man, and has been his companion ever since. Efforts to banish crime from our midst are bound to fail because it is a mutative gene, ever changing its shape, mien and tenor. But have we ever thought why crimes are greatly increasing despite all the modern machinery and scientific paraphernalia available with our police?
I’ve got the answer: it’s because we are bringing up a chocolate generation devoid of reality. There is a great grain of wisdom in the Dickensian character in ‘Pickwick Papers.” Here, Weller, the senior, tells Pickwick, that he has given Samuel (engaged as Pickwick’s personal attendant) a great education (the fact is Samuel was uneducated). “Well, I allowed him to shift, to run around, learn to live and find his way through the world by himself.”
A great education! Samuel wondered. But it was. It’s not my case that we should treat our children like Weller Sr did. But we have denied our children an education other than academics. Passing out in examinations with flying colours is the cardinal principle in the modern scheme of things. We bring up our kids as if we will be around forever to protect them.
The UN report says the modern generation is being detached from agriculture, and the result is disastrous. We now grow poisonous food, feed it to our kids, they develop obesity and diabetics, they catch all other diseases born of sinecures. This is just one of the many tragedies.
How many of us tell our kids the ways of the world? How many of us dare to send our son, not to talk of our daughter, to the street on an errand after it is dark? Whether we like it or not, we must learn to live with reality, which is sadly not always happy. We have street crimes, we have the spectre of drugs and alcoholism, and we have growing cases of cheating and abusing innocent adolescents, tricking simpletons, robbing law-abiding citizens. None of this our kids know till it is too late.
Our kids do not know how a plant takes root and go on to bloom; they are flustered when faced with an emergency. If they meet a knife-wielding ruffian, they meekly give in. Why, we have little means of training our kids to swim in calm waters, what to talk of the turbulent waters! Little wonder that scores of them drown when they go sightseeing near lakes and rivers.
Academy to teach life
If we, in the rat race, can’t educate our kids the good and bad things of community living, we need an academy to teach our kids life and its dark sides. We need to teach them about civic life and civic manners. We need to tell them about the pitfalls they may face in the urban life and how to overcome it. We need to tell them about sexual diseases and the dangers of courting strangers. Hundreds of thousands of adolescents contract sexual diseases merely due to lack of awareness.
Life is a rose and the rose has thorns. What use is it if our kids have the highest academic degree but are ignorant about the basic facts of life; they see only the rose and sense the smell, but are blind to the thorns?
I feel that our kids do not get lessons at schools and colleges to take on life with equanimity. For that we need an academy expressly for this purpose. That does not mean we overdo it by showing them glimpses of only the darkness of the world. But show them, we must.
Tailend-The crass ignorance of sexual facts in our kids is brought out in the classic comment of the first-born. Looking at the wedding album of her parents, the child chided the mom and dad. “Why am I not seen in the photo? Why, you don’t love me, do you?”
The writer works for Postnoon.
About the Author (Author Profile)
PK Surendran is senior editor at Postnoon.