A batch mate of mine killed himself last week. Apparent reason given, is his inability to get a job after studying at BITS, Pilani. And I got to know of this through tweets from fellow BITSians. He was a brilliant student, a hardworking guy and the only son. The news shocked me beyond wits. Why would anyone take such a step! And how?! I have often heard people saying, 'Suicide is Cowardly'. I doubt it. I don't think I can imagine hanging myself from the fan, writhing in agony, choking for breath, waiting to die. The momentary courage drives a person into such an extreme. But what gets left behind! Parents, who collect the shattered remains of their lives and would henceforth, probably, never sleep peacefully. Haunting memories of their child that was.
All that was running in my head was, 'What's wrong with people?!' Are we not taught to handle pressure? Can we not have some patience and look for alternatives? If something doesn't go the way we planned, what should we do? Kill ourselves? Not possible. Then what? I'm not delving into reasons of him taking such a decision. People have been contemplating financial status, parental pressure etc. But still. There has to be a way out.
These days I see parents demanding good grades, excellent dancing/ singing/ speaking/ painting skills from a child who has not even turned 10. After school, there's guitar class, then tuitions, then swimming! Coaching for IIT JEE begins from 6th standard nowadays. And every kid is expected to be nothing but THE BEST in any field that he ventures. Ok. Fine! Who comes second now? Or third in class? This madness has to stop somewhere. Or else, live with the consequences.
We are humans. We try. We fail sometimes. Succeed the rest of the times. It's natural. We can't force our expectations onto children. Every individual has his own capacity and capability. And when nurtured properly, they'll come out with flying colors. But that does not mean that just because A's son earns a fortune working for XYZ company or B's daughter is the brightest in math, your kid should be, too! Isn't your kid the bundle of joy you got, into this world! Share the joy! Appreciate them for what they are. And teach them to accept failures.
Another thing that keeps popping in my head is dignity of work. No job is any lesser. If you do not work at Google, doesn't mean you are not worth anything! Every job has its value. Every work is respectful. Well, blame the society for glorifying some and mocking the others. It has made people think that it's below their dignity to foray into something less known or less paid for. Kids need to be taught the value of work. Things don't come easy in life and hardships are a part and parcel of it. Help your kids when they need you the most. Guide them. Show them alternative paths. Stand by them. Be glad at least they are there.
What would you rather have? A child who works in an average company and brings home enough money to make a contented livelihood or his picture adorned with fresh flowers? Make a choice.
P.S. I got back home from work and called my parents to tell them that they were the most awesome ones in the world! Love you both!