March 29, 2018

Bow with Felt Sheet

Journey is as memorable as the destination, or may be even more!!

The time and effort spent on the process should be more enjoyable than the outcome.

DD1 wanted to make something with the felt sheet that she was gifted by her cousin and looked up the internet for ideas. There were many that came up, some being butterfly, bow etc. She stopped at the image of a bow and said she would do that. I helped her with drawing the outline and she cut the pieces and stuck according to what we read on the internet.

Then she applied some glitter glue over it and left it to dry for a day.

I showed her the piece after a day and I was saying that I could stitch it to any of her shirt(talking in my mind: she could decorate it a bit more with the glitter glue)

DD1 stared at it for a minute, immersed herself in some world that I am not aware of and said:

This is gardening animal web. This is made by animals but even humans can enter into it. There will be chairs and tables for us and we can even eat ice cream there.

I just stayed silent listening to her entire story. There's no limit to what children can imagine and create. All they need is a channel to let their creativity out.

I wonder how the child can be given freedom to be on their own to let their creativity blossom when children as young as 3/4 years are being sent for drawing/colouring classes. All that they are demanded to do in any class is to follow instructions and create a beautiful product for which the child experiences applauds from her teachers/parents. Are we giving children enough time to unfold their imagination? What is the need to instruct them in everything they do from such a young age?
A child who is interested in drawing will spend more time in doing it, whatever the initial outcome is, and will eventually learn to draw in various strokes and come up with different shades on her own. Isn't that wonderful ? Can we give them the time and freedom to be on their own?

Let children be. Let them imagine. Let them create. Even if it does not make sense to the adult, it does make a lot of sense to the child and that imagination, that ability to think is more important than a neatly coloured picture done under the guidance of a teacher. Well, in my perspective!!

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Exams, Grades, Ranks and Life!!!

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All that parents focus on for their children is their academic performance, results in exams and the job that they would take up...All the while forgetting that, life is the best stage to perform, life is the best exam one could actually take. No, exams do not end with the 10th grade or the 12th grade or the graduation or upon achieving the dream job.
In fact, it is the purpose of each individual to perform well in his /her life and achieve one's mission.
Have you even invested time in finding your mission? Are we giving children enough time to understand themselves and know their mission in life??
On one hand, while children and parents are busy focussing on the school and college grades, on the other hand, there is the REAL life whose achievement cannot even be expressed with the known senses of the physical body, leave about even trying to assess and grade it!!!!
That is spiritual success and the only real success of ones life.


March 20, 2018

The Memorise-Regurgitate Exercise

Ever since I had seen activity sheets or puzzles that claim to teach opposites to children, I used to wonder if they are really needed? It is all a part of our daily conversations, right? Why does a child have to sit and recognise/read the opposites and point to the right answer/puzzle piece? Whose interest was it?

The one who marketed and sold the product has achieved his aim(making money) while the parent enjoys the short 2 min span of time where she floats on cloud 9 when the activity looks 'COMPLETE' to her and the child never understands why she was made to do it, in the first place. The child had better things to do in her to-do list. Her agenda has just been disturbed. And, not to forget the parents who seem to be thinking that they fail in keeping their child rooted to ground even for 10 mins by not making her complete such worksheets/puzzles. Their children actually stuck to their agenda in life and did not succumb to these sit-down and memorise activities

Oh and those puzzles/books/memorise-regurgitate exercises that are done at home/school like: Animals and their homes, Animals and their baby animals, opposites, Greeting phrases, feelings, etc. etc. Of what use are they? Whose intention was it to introduce in that way? I am sure most of the adults would still google to look for an animal's/bird's home. So,what is an eagle's home/nest called?

I wonder how much time of early childhood goes into doing such activities where the intention is mainly to memorise and regurgitate in front of guests at home or the exam in school in order to score good grades and make the teachers and parents happy. Did you notice the amount of time, energy that the child puts in and the money the parent puts in for schools/buying those puzzles?

What could the child do if he had all the time for his own? How well could the same time be spent? I can easily think of 20 different ways and I am sure a child could think of 50 different ways to spend his childhood. Why do we press the child to learn certain things a certain way?

A 1 year/ 1.5 year child easily understands the words/phrases like 'Come here', 'go there', 'after', 'before', big/small glass, hot/cold/warm and many more(so-called opposites). All this is learnt just by her intuition. Once speech starts and the child is loaded with activities/puzzles/worksheets/classwork/homework, she is demanded to memorise all the above mentioned names/opposites/terms in a specific manner. But Why?

Real life experiences would make a child encounter with sufficient terms and the language to be used to communicate will any ways be learnt. Imagine when the child starts to think about necessity of home and wonder how the animals manage to live and find out for himself that the animals also build(or man-made) certain kinds of homes/nest and starts to learn about the names himself? How does it feel? Learning all by himself feels so much satisfying than the memorise-regurgitate exercises that are designed by parents/teachers, right?

Those feelings/emotions puzzles/worksheets - a child is intended to look at various pictures and recognise the feeling/emotion. There would be dots below the eye and it is supposed to be seen as crying. 3 year olds are expected to practice these. Why can't we let the child experience life by living where she would any way encounter people who would be happy, sad, excited, disappointed etc. at a moment. And, if you say, it is about learning to draw such emotions. A child, who has enough seen real people changing the face expressions according to their emotions, would easily be in a position to draw such expression on paper. A child who is given time, would understand that tears could be drawn as drops/dotted lines on paper. Where is the question of teaching or making the child practice?

What does it mean when you say, you/the school is educating your child?

Is the child receiving 'Education' in its true meaning?



March 12, 2018

The 'RUSH' life?

What is a developed nation? What is a well-settled life? What is the value of a high-pay job? What is the meaning of success? What is being techie? What is technology doing to us?
Are we moving closer to finding our purpose in life? or Are we totally lost in the tech world?

This is the age where every person aims to grab that high-paying tech job, where every household has at least two people(both parents) working outside the home in order to support the ever-rising cost of living that seems to be unending on the graph, where every child is either made to aim for engg/tech/medicine jobs that seem to pay more than other fields of work, where every child is made to study, understand and aim for the highest money that one can earn to make a living. But, is there a concrete figure for it? Does it stay the same for a period of time? Is it the same for all? What is all the rush for?

The world has become a business place, where, every person, right from those who run schools to those who run hospitals to those who run pharmacies, has a B-Plan behind what they do. And, the motive is, to earn as much money as possible from every client.

People who take up tech jobs are termed as skilled workers and the others like farmers, artists, potters are termed as unskilled workers and termed as being poor. What is the definition of rich and poor in the context of life? Is it only about earning money and living rich? What is this life for if we do not work towards the purpose of our living? How many of us take time to know the self and its purpose? What are the modern jobs doing to us? It has become easy(time-wise, effort-wise and cost-wise) to buy a new household item than repair the existing one. The modern tech job makes people earn so much that it makes them blind to even realise on what they are spending, yet, so poor that, hardly anything remains in the account after all the blind expenses. Yet, life goes on. We continue to slog over the job, we continue to earn, we continue to spend mindlessly, we continue to live mindlessly, we sleep for the night, we wake up to yet another day when we again continue to live mindlessly. Where is the modern life taking us to? What is the purpose of living a mindless life where we do not know why we do what we do. And, this same attitude is being passed on to the next generation.

What is life all about?

Spending time with loved ones
It is about spending time with loved ones. Spending time not just on weekends. Spending time not just by going to high-end malls. Spending time not just in cinema halls. Spending time not just while force-waking the children or force-feeding the children, Spending time not just while forcing the child to finish his homework.

But, it is about spending time, good amount of time, that spans across most part of the day. It is about spending time, good amount of time, that the daily chores like having meal, reading, writing, playing are done together, in peace, not by force. It is about spending time, good amount of time, in being together, sharing the curiosity of life together, discovering more to life together, sharing one's wisdom and learning from each other. Are we able to do any of these in the modern-day lifestyle where each one is in his own rat race, not knowing where the race is taking them to, in blind run for better-pay jobs.

Even young children are being forced to join this rat race. Schools talk so much about activities being conducted in school that even a 20 month old is asked to join the nursery in the school, saying, she would become sharper than the others. Are we sacrificing our own self-exploration time to this blind race? Are we also showing our children the same path where they have least opportunity to explore their self? Managing to get into the school bus by 7 AM or 7 30 AM is definitely a herculean task for young children. Their minds are more curious to learn by living the real life not just forced-waking up, going to school, mugging things up, putting them on the exam paper, get good grades, show them to parents, seeing parents happy and ultimately believing that 'parents are happy with good grades that lead to good jobs (where good means high-paying jobs)'. Where has the good wisdom gone? Do we even have some time to speak about real life experiences with our children? All their time is spent in gaining some bookish knowledge. And the time that parents spend with children mostly goes for tasks like 'complete your homework, do not play without finishing, I told you to finish and then play, do not do that, eat your food fast, sleep, force wake up, force dress up, rush the milk/breakfast, run to school bus'. Is this an ideal picture of life that we would like to pass on to the next generation?

Being happy
Being happy with what we have. Though we try to be so, we still draw comparison of our children to those of our neighbours'. Why so? What are we targeting for? Isn't every person unique and precious in his own way? Is there even a standard against which we can rate each individual, compare each of them and start to praise or shame them? Where is this competition leading to? May be, again, the same rat race where one does not know what the race is for.

Spending time to know the self
In the modern-day busy life, it is very common to see one so busy that there is absolutely no time to spend on one's well being or knowing the self. And, the same passes on to our children. If we wish our children to be mindful, we should be mindful of our living. If we wish our children to work on the purpose of their life, we should be doing that first. They learn from what we do. They learn to live life from the way we live ours'. As simple as it sounds. So, are we mindful of the time we spend? We are surrounded with so much of technology that at the end of the day, we do not know where all the time went it.

If the man who earns more is claimed to lead a better life than the farmer who earns just enough, I would disagree with it plainly because life is about living wisely, not just about earning more and more money. If the farmer has more wisdom, so be it, he deserves a salute. But, the point is, no one is ever interested in learning any from the farmer. Every person, every parent is always interested in learning about the man who is earning more, just so that, the parent can say the same to his child, to be like that man who is making more money. There is nothing wrong with money, but, are we even making a point in spending time with our children to talk about how mindful one can lead one's life?

Technology is said to over-power and take up most of the tech jobs in the IT industry. Whenever it happens, I have a thought that, when all the tech jobs are taken up by robots/AI, man would finally get some time to spend on one's own self. And, may be, that is when the true living begins, when man works towards helping his neighbours, helping the underprivileged, learning about alternative healing techniques, learning about human behaviour, learning about the mind, body and soul and learning about all the things that ACTUALLY matter to a man's life in order to fulfill his mission on earth.

Let us 'LIVE' life, not 'RUSH' life!!

------------Addition after receiving a comment:

If you have noticed what i wrote: But, the point is, no one is ever interested in learning any from the farmer. Every person, every parent is always interested in learning about the man who is earning more, just so that, the parent can say the same to his child, to be like that man who is making more money. There is nothing wrong with money, but, are we even making a point in spending time with our children to talk about how mindful one can lead one's life?

All I intend to say is, however one wishes to lead his life should be doing it so, but alongside, it is important to try to realise his actual purpose of birth/life.

Well, this is again relative. It depends on the level of awareness of each individual. If one thinks, there is no specific purpose in life other than being busy in order to make money, so be it. If one thinks, there is purpose in life and I would like to know mine, so be it.

The thing is, or the question to ask is, are we mindful of our thoughts, words and actions or are we living blindly?

If one is clear and happy with one's life. That should be it. That's all. Peace.