A 19yr old asked an 11 yr old : “ What is your goal in life ? ”
Pat came the reply from the latter, a cute smart boy : “ Oh ! to get admission into IIT .”
[ For those, who do not know what IIT stands for – it is Indian Institute of Technology – there are only a few of them and they are like the Jewels in the Crown of Mother India. It is believed that once you gain entry into an IIT somehow, your life is made (true if one goes by professional success the IITians have actually achieved from day one both nationally and internationally). It is the loftiest dream of most of the parents to have their kid in IIT and most of them have also seen to it that their child also sees the same dream ( alas !!). Children need to be exceptionally ‘bright’ in academics, scoring incredibly high in the qualifying exam( + 2) AND passing a really tough special Entrance Test to get into IITs, for which they start taking extremely rigorous coaching ( I really wonder, when these kids get to breathe… literally ? Class, coaching for usual course of 10th/12th, plus special coaching - I call it going through torture of the nth degree when you transcend all feelings and stop feeling the torture itself !! ]
So, back to the interesting conversation. The boy says that it is his goal to get into IIT . I just happened to be around there. The 19 yr old girl whispered to me : “ See!, how pathetic ! I asked him what is his “goal in life ”– that is, what would he like to become in life and he says getting into IIT. Is getting into IIT a goal in itself ? At the least, he could have said that he wants to become an Engineer ! How sad – parents these days are to blame – they only drill all this crap deep into the young minds – so deep that the children can not think clearly for themselves and just fall in line with the fad of the day !!” Incidentally, this girl is amongst those courageous few who have found their own calling on their own .
Well… I could not have agreed more on that. It is truly sad how the kids these days in our part of the world are being led to believe that “ the be all and end all ” of their lives is to gain admission into reputed institutes like IITs/ NITs/IIMs etc., understandably because gaining entry into these institutes would facilitate achieving their goal of becoming an engineer or management professional of top order. But the pity is, in their blind pursuit of joining the race, people fail to realise when some facilitating factor( getting admission to an Inst.) is turning into the goal itself ( becoming an engineer – although, I do not consider becoming an engineer can be anyone’s true goal in life ), thereby limiting all other wide possibilities of “ becoming” in life !! Very few are there who display the courage and true understanding as parents to encourage their kids to dance to a different drummer, if that be so required – to let the child discover her own true calling – to allow the child to decide if she would become just another face in the crowd or a face in the crowd !
Yes, I, too, felt sad to hear what the 11 yr old said. BUT … Guess what ! The next moment, I was inundated with a surge of happiness.
Hey, everything is not yet lost . There is still a lot of HOPE for this world of ours . Just think of what the 19 yr old remarked – how the 19yr old “thought” !!
Yes, if the 19 yr old could think with so much of clarity on “goal”, the difference between “ getting into IIT” and “ becoming an Engineer ” ; if the youth of her generation has started thinking with such discernment and meaningful insight, I am sure, in due course, these thinking minds will eventually know the difference between :
“ becoming an Engineer” and “ being able to Construct a Bridge ”
“ Constructing a Bridge” and “ being able to Connect geographical places”
“Connecting geographical places” and “being able to Connect people across geographical separation”
“ Connecting people and “being able to connect the hearts, minds and souls ”
It all boils down to knowing “what your goal is” and “ why you want that as your goal” (i.e. your ultimate purpose in life );
- above all, knowing the difference between the ecstacy of getting to the destination/goal ( connecting hearts, minds and souls )Vrs the joys n wonders of the journey itself ( getting into an IIT, becoming an Engineer, getting a fulfilling job, delivering value through projects and assignments that touch people’s lives !)
A lot of hope there , I swear ! Honestly, when we were 19 yrs old , we were never thoughtful and wise enough as today’s 19 yr olds !
Notwithstanding the negatives today, tomorrow will be really brighter and dazzling , and that’s what I truly believe.
LET HOPE permeate every life on this beautiful planet that we all live on !