In the urban scenario ideas of prosperity and success are installed inside the children from a very early age through parenting and schooling. This has become so internalised in our society that we often ignore the philosophical meaning of prosperity and obsessed with power and wealth which is creating a serious impact on the future generation, writes Protibha Hossain
WHEN 2020 is knocking at our doors, our lives have become more expeditious and more technology-oriented than any of us could imagine even twenty or so years ago. We are heading towards economic growth and striving to become better, technologically, every day. People are becoming more and more conscious about gender equality, human rights and tolerance of different opinions nowadays. Everyone is gradually becoming well aware of their rights.
Amidst all these structural and economic development, the economy and politics around us is changing every day. The environment around us has become much more competitive these days compared to even few years back. Virtually all of us are pushing ourselves towards achieving prosperity and excellence.
This tendency has additionally put an impact on our daily lives and society in a way that, becoming prosperous has become a social symbol now. This has become so much internalised in the society and people are becoming so much obsessed to achieve success that people no longer bothers to care that which is the proper path to be prosperous or what is the inherent philosophical meaning of prosperity and at what cost are the prosperities are coming?
Does prosperity and achievement only mean to gain power and position or achieving the first position in the so called rat race? We no longer bother to care about the world and the environment we live in. We are more concerned about our virtual connections and building an image that we love to fantasise about and relentlessly portray that image to others. We are more eager to engender an identity which is fictitious and inhuman.
In this era of globalisation, people are becoming increasingly partial towards cultures and lifestyles of the western world. Almost everyone thinks that adapting to these changes is the main way to become modern. I am not saying we do not celebrate our roots and culture anymore. We do have grand celebrations during specific days of the year like Pahela Baiskakh. This practice is also acknowledged to be modern these days because of its integration in the urban society and change in the essence in accordance to the changing demands of urban educated people.
It does not matter we practice our culture on daily basis or not because nobody seem to be caring anymore. Amidst of all this, we are forgetting our real identity, roots, the reason behind relishing our freedom of choice and mostly ethical values that have been around for ages. Do any of us ever question how much ethics do we practice as a community and how much ethics we have managed to channel to the next generation?
Schooling is the most important part of a child’s life. A proper schooling shapes a person to the human who will outweigh worldly tactics and accommodate the essence of humanity in the first place. Parents and family play a consequential role in schooling of a child. In this fast moving society, at least in the context of urban settlements of Bangladesh, parents are more concerned in pushing their children towards excellence and want to shape their toddlers as multi-performers. There’s nothing wrong in wanting that. But the question is how many of us, as parents, are ensuring ethical practice in our lives because our life will be the example to our children, not our words.
Few days ago, I saw a lady with her son; the boy was approximately six years old, heading towards home from school. She was out bursting on her son for not scoring good marks compared to his classmate who was a girl. The fact which was bothering her is that her son scored less than a girl!
Children are not born with discrimination, jealousy or selfishness. Parents are more worried about grades instead of focusing on real education that children should perceive. Society shows the least concern in encouraging tolerance and practicing good habits.
This is really very disheartening. Many of us disintegrate the intellectual ability of children for their betterment unconsciously. This leads them to be egoistic, discriminating, and self-indulgent and oppress others afterwards. In future these children inherit certain personalities that might prove to be dangerous for the other members of the society.
As a society, in urban areas mainly, we are becoming self-centrist, detached from the fellow human and alienated. Our only concerns are about availing and maintaining a better position in the society and a lifestyle that we can show-off or boast about in virtual world and in private gatherings and even in public. We do not feel any shame of remorse that most of us do not seem to respect our language, culture and identity and this also effects our perception of other culture and society.
We do not seem to acknowledge the sacrifices of freedom fighters who gave up their lives and own dignity for the country we live in today. We do not care about the morals that we have learnt from intellectuals, writers, artists and many more that came from our culture. We are not embarrassed for failing to carry our hereditary practices that were taught by our ancestors. We no longer ascertain healthy habits that emerges unity. We no longer feel humiliated for failing as a society.
Altogether, even now, it’s quite normal for us to throw garbage on the streets, to erupt intolerant behaviours towards anyone who does not fit our preference, encourage vulgarity, break laws, humiliate one another, mock the ones who practice good habits, become revengeful and kill one another only to keep intact the fake illusions we love to live in. We are more into blaming others for own destruction. As civilised human beings, we are more busy in finding faults in others to cover own misdeeds than to rectify within. This has become common now.
It’s high time that we should start showing more concern about building a society that would ascertain safety. We must make sure that our future generations are instilled with proper guidelines and values which are required to develop our society vigorously. We require the understanding that education is not only limited to academic books but also the surroundings we live in. We need to reform ourselves to set an example for the future generations by implementing good practices.
Our society is in a state of dire need where good citizens are required. We need to educate and upgrade ourselves that will develop our society in a way that our future generations can be proud of. Let us not only focus on keeping our homes clean but also own minds, the environment and the society. We must not forget the system is from us and for us, not the other way around.
Protibha Hossain is a student of United International University.
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