When I was young, the world was just black and white. And a number of distinct primary colors. People were either good or bad; things were either right or wrong. If someone spoke against my parents, they were bad. If someone cried because of something another did, the act was wrong. More often than not, when someone’s opinions fell in line with my family’s, they were right. When they did not, they were wrong.
However, growing up, I have started to see shades of grey, of hybrid hues. Colors neither red nor blue, neither black not white. Life is in the process of giving me experiences where I get to stand at both the sides of the coin and see both perspectives. The wisdom acquired through these years has enlightened upon me the fact that no one philosophy is infallible, not even my parents’. They may be right on many occasions, but they have been wrong on some too. Though, being wrong does not equate to being bad.
When I look back at some events from the past, I am able to see the people involved in a true light. The ones who seemed ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ then seem justified now. “So what if they thought so? That is their way,” my mind is able to reason now.
This reasoning also tells me another thing. Tomorrow there might come a situation where my son and I will not agree. Given the fact that the kids of this generation (is it called Generation Z?) are smarter today, the day might come sooner than I expect. I have to start bracing myself up for the same today. When we were kids the thought processes our parents’ (most of them at least) followed directed them to only command and discipline us, often forgetting that the individual within that small body needed to be acknowledged too. But that won’t work for the kids of today. There is no age as such from which the individual demands recognition; it starts from the day the child becomes aware of the surroundings.
And in keeping with their sharper IQs, parents must introduce the hybrid shades to them earlier than before. “Don’t do this, it’s bad,” or “Do that, that’s good,” won’t suffice. Kids today want to know more. “Why is something bad?” “Why is something good?” “Who determines bad of good” We as parents have to be ready to answer these questions. I think our parents had it easier. I never asked these questions as a kid. I took their word to be the final word.
Imagine humanity to be a continuous relay race to fill a bucket of water. The stages in the relay are each generation, and the water is wisdom. One generation fills a little water into the bucket and passes it on to the next. The next inherits the existing wisdom, and adds new wisdom to it, and so on. This will go on and on till the bucket gets filled. (Well) My imagination deserts me at this point. What will happen when the bucket fills up?
Yamini is a software professional turned work-at-home-mom. Amidst her domestic responsibilities and a very demanding 2.5 year old son, she snatches time to write academic papers, freelance content, fiction and poetry. Her stories and poetry have been published in various online literary magazines and anthologies by Penguin Books and Cyberwit Publications. Yamini voices her thoughts now and then at http://myexpressionsandme.