Monday, January 04, 2010

Competition ,Expectations ~ Death of talent

What type of a world do we live in? Certainly not a non-competitive one. There is a race everywhere, may it be getting your child an admission in the best of schools, getting yourself a promotion or the simplest example of catching yourself a seat in a public transport bus. Its as if life itself implies competition. how saddening.

The race begins from the time you come into the world, get into a good school, pass each standard with good marks, more importantly the boards. Pass out of 12th, rack your brains for an IIT or an equally good REC, pass out an engineer or possibly go into medicine. How time-table like is our human life?? I mean think of it, are we ever encouraged to think out of the box??Are we ever given scope to hone any of our hobbies so much so that we can make it our profession?? After all, textual knowledge is not everything, and certainly it does not bring out the creativity in a person. What ever  I am talking about is very clearly portrayed in the movie 3 Idiots. Yes it might have exaggerated in a few scenes, but the meaning is conveyed. Just like Silencer(the mugger) in the movie, many of us have passed exams without knowing the real meaning of the text we memorized! and what a pity that is! And why do we do all this? out of competition and out of the fear of not fulfilling our parents expectations!

Expectations, the root cause of all suffering. Parents, yes who very much love their children, want their children to be successful in life forget one thing. The fact that the burden of their expectations weighs heavily on a child. It can break a child, Neha an 11 year old girl committed suicide, how shocking is this news. And why?? She was a prodigal dancer but her parents refused to let her participate in a reality show and wanted her to concentrate on her studies, Result?? they lost their child completely, and to think of how gravely the parents decision affected the child that she chose to end her life???

Why isnt the child allowed to hone his/her talent. Why do the parents have to impose on a child?? and most importantly, why are the parents given the right to decide what the child wants to do in life. Just as dyslexic Ishaan in Taaren Zameen Par or Neha in real life are expected to study like a normal child, can't they be allowed to pursue their passions as well? I mean Neha for Gods sake was good in academics as I read here, don't understand why the parents discontinued her dance classes.

Competition to earn livelihood, to outshine others, living upto parents expectations is as good as murdering individual talent in a person. Its time we encouraged our children to do pursue professions which they are really passionate about, or work that they would really enjoy. Its time to stop more Nehas' from committing suicide..


Mohan said...

I know it is a competitive world where no one wants to lag behind in the race. But stories like these really go beyond to take the importance on such sensitive issues RIGHT NOW!

Well, pushing the person to excel is fine, but need to know the limit. There can only a backfire if the limit is exceeded. Good thoughts.. nice blog you have!

UnboundSpirit said...


Indeed, you are right about the limit beyond which any person would crack just like a stick cracks if you twist it beyond a certain point. A kid for that matter is much more vulnerable.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.


suvro said...

What you say is reality.The air we breathe in is polluted.What can you do?Wear a mask.But that will look odd and uncomfortable.So is the education system.Its polluted too.At most u can try to learn things which u like but you might fail in the exam as everyone is not as gifted as Rancho :).So better accept it or try to change it.Dont know what to do.

UnboundSpirit said...


Looks like you are quite outraged with our education system!

I do not agree when you say accept it or change it. Change cannot be brought in a single minute, even Rancho in the movie could not change the system in the college but he did flutter a leaf and encouraged the winds of change.

Simply encouraging children to understand what they learn, for instance can also change our education system. Hopefully there will be some Rancho(s) in real life..

Vikram Karve said...

Very nice article.
Students must enjoy the learning experience - that's the key!

UnboundSpirit said...

Quite right, learning should be key focus of education and not passing with the best of percentage.

Thanks for your comment Vikram.

Raffi said...

Did you see the movie "Accepted"? I like that kind of education system, may be after our basic schooling.

UnboundSpirit said...

@Raffi Hey no, is the movie good?? The plot in imdb sounds interesting. When a high school burnout discovers he's been rejected from every college he's applied to, he creates a fake university in order to fool his overzealous parents.:D wow

Raffi said...

Yeah, I liked that movie. Saw in HBO long time back.

UnboundSpirit said...

adding it to my movie list to watch.Thanks for the suggestion Raffi

Psych Babbler said...

I remember reading that...and y'know what, when I was visiting in Bombay after almost 5 years in July, there was a suicide in the papers every single day...and majority were teenagers. I kid you not! It shocked me. I mean, I know India is not the only country where this happens but I think a number of suicides could be prevented by accepting parents as well as having a better mental health system for young people. Expectations are interesting --- on the one hand you don't want to have no expectations whatsoever but on the other hand, people nowadays set really high and unrealistic expectations as well.

I'd like to leave you with this wonderful quote someone told me (can't remember where they got it from): "Depression is a result of earlier life expectations and current reality"

UnboundSpirit said...

@Psych Thats what, parents are never able to accept the fact that a child may fail in academics but excel in some extra curricular activity! Its the dire competition that I feel even parents are feeling the pressure of, and they transmit this pressure onto the children which impacts their mental health negatively.

If only parents could be more supportive and acceptive as you mentioned. And Expectation is overkill, I mean half of your spirit will die thinking that someone expected you to do better but you couldn't.

Thanks for such a meaningful quote.I wish no one suffers some depression, it makes a person miserable. But the current trends are leading even a tender age towards it. Its time for parents to try to understand their children and be suppportive, no matter what.

Thanks for your comment!!