“Mothering for achievement” – 27 June 2012

An entirely new concern is emerging in one’s consciousness. When we look around and talk to teenage kids, we realise that generally speaking, most of them seem inspired by small goals — to be doctors, or engineers, or architects, or civil servants…. This gives rise to a simple yet complicated question: What after ‘becoming’ a doctor or an engineer or architect…? And the kids have no answers. For, they have not been subjected ever to any higher thinking. They do not seem to realise that once a child ‘becomes’ say a doctor at the age of 28-30, having achieved the chosen ‘aim’, he will not have anything more concrete to achieve. So, he will keep achieving more of the same in that field, having never been introduced to any sublime thinking that would push his aim-threshold higher into the realm of dream that would make him sleepless, metaphorically speaking. Considered broadly, this is a failure of the society in general. But looked at deeply and pointedly, this can be considered as a big failure of the institution of Mother in whose lap the child acquires his aims and ambitions as well as dreams.

Of course, every society produces big dreamers who think big, try to act big, and achieve big or fail to doso. Yet, given the overall picture of the present-day Indian society, one realises how it is dotted by many colourless patches sans any inspiring element. It is most unfortunate that in most Indian homes, the aim-threshold of the kids is quite low and the kids are taught to achieve things that are terribly below their capabilities.

I would like to call this a big failure of the institution of Mothering (which also includes the element of Father). This is, of course, only a generalised statement that is proved correct only by exceptions which every society would have. But, given the heightened levels of overall comfort in the present-day Indian society, one feels constrained to observe that our homes do not push the kids to higher zones of achievement that is possible only when the individual child is pushed out of comfort zones and into a troublesome arena of dissatisfaction and discomfort to achieve something beyond the normal norm, something well above the mundane.

It is obvious that the societies that keep their young generations in comfort zones stop making really big achievements possible. One illustration of this tendency is that most Indian families would want their sons or daughters to become IT (Information Technology) professionals working say in Microsoft, but not push the kids to becoming Bill Gates.

This is one of the most unfortunate and biggest failures of the Indian family system. Also, I would treat this as a very big failure of Indian woman as it shows that she has failed to see really, really big dreams for her children.

I am conscious that many among us would take this as an affront of Indian womanhood. But if they think calmly and comprehensively, they would realise that I am only trying to trigger higher levels of societal expectation from our youngsters. Factually, such a trigger comes from the family, especially the Mother.

Human history is replete with countless examples of how women pushed their children to achieve more and higher and perform zapping feats by going beyond the normal comfort zones and by buying trouble to make higher achievements possible.

Somehow, the average Indian family seems to have lost that kind of nerve and verve to push the kids to higher degrees of difficulties to achieve something beyond the norm. Somehow, unfortunately, the Indian family is witnessing a boom in mediocrity and a gloom on the front of very high and sublime achievement.

This is where the average Indian mother seems to have failed, and this is a very massive failure (to put it rather bluntly).

Of course, with collective determination, we can alter the scenario. But do we really want to go from ‘here’ to ‘there’?

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