Just recently I was chatting with my girlfriend back home, remembering childhood days. Days filled with innocence, love, purity of heart and mind. This got us discussing the child of 21st century. We keep wondering as to what is wrong with the child today? Why do they act so maturely? Where is their innocence lost?? I got my nephew (5 years old) back home a v-tech superman laptop thinking he would jump over with joy and excitement receiving this wonderful gift. Surprisingly his response was very cold! No excitement, no fun, no amazement!! All that I heard from his was "thanks masi, but please next time get me a real one, not a toy"....Oh! my goodness...I was stunned. Where did he learn all this from?? Is it too much of TV or is it that we as parents give our child lesser time compared to how much our parents gave us? I don't remember possessing any play stations and nintendos as a child. All we knew was playing kho-kho, peekaboo, color-color so on and so forth. We used to watch the clock tick 6.00 pm so that we can play with our friends. Those days and memories are still so dear to us and have somewhere helped us become what and how we are today.
Unless we as parents do not snatch away those play stations and nintendos from our children and help them become more socially and physically active, will it be possible for them to grow, communicate and connect with others. Their future is indeed in our hands!
Poet Ernestine Northover expresses the same thought very beautifully in his poem "Childhood - The 21st Century" as follows:
Childhood - The 21st Century
How advanced they are, these children of the future,
Like small adults, within their tiny frames,
They grow up in a fast 'speed driven' culture,
Where 'learning pressures' change their kind of games,
Where is their childhood, in all this hurly burly,
Where is their pure untainted view of things,
Why do they have to grow so old, so early,
And lose the joy that only childhood brings.
Our childhood was filled with thoughts of joy and gladness,
We lived our lives, oblivious to the world
And all the hardships, wars, the grief and sadness,
We stood, waiting for our lives to be unfurled.
We had time to grow, and gain an understanding,
Of each new phase, each change along the way,
As we grew slowly, our senses all expanding,
So with clarity, we slowly changed our play.
We had a framework on which to build and flourish,
Slow and steady, this was no rushed affair,
Taking each step, then step by step to nourish,
Our childhood, so finally adulthood we would share.
What will become, of these 'New Century' learners,
I doubt if they, a dreamy childhood see,
Will they then tell to all those bright discerners
Of their own, how they remembered their childhood to be.
Let me end with this wonderful message:
Dance as though no one is watching you, sing as though no one can hear you, Love as though you've never been hurt, and live as though heaven is on earth!