I often feel that the young ones seem a lot more street smart than me at their age. Have they become more aware of some of the ugly truths and harsh realities in this fast changing world through the media? Could it be that the parents these days are inclined to steer their children ahead in anticipation of the tough competition due to bad economy and rising cost of living ? In my twenties, I was fickle and experimental yet more often than not, I was spontaneous and even impulsive, definitely less weary of following my heart. I believe that each and every decision I had made were just decisions I had to make. In reaching those decisions, I must have taken into considerations what my parents, teachers and elders had tried to tell me as they felt that it was their duty to guide me. I listened to them because they were supposed to be worldly. There were times I had digressed and caused pain to my parents as the path which they had envisioned for me might have differed from what they witnessed. But seriously, are the old ones wiser really?
Now that I am a parent, I endeavour to protect my children from experiencing hardship, despair and hurt while I know that I must let go and allow them to make up their own minds, handle their own dilemmas and not be afraid to venture. As trite it may sound, life per se is for every individual to go through on their own. We take life seriously and although we know that nothing is certain, we still make plans for the future.
Perhaps some individuals are grounded, focused and competent since young while the others are happy go lucky and come what may. I belong to the latter. Decades later , I could not help thinking if I ought to have taken more care in planning for my future then so that instead of drifting through my youth, I could focus on trying to achieve what I really would have liked to do with the rest of my life. On the other hand, given the kind of person I am, I probably would not have done anything differently. This morning, I stopped by a new café in the neighbourhood for a latte. It was a cozy place and the coffee was reasonably priced. I found out that the café owner had always wanted to set up a café so he quitted teaching and started his own café. Stories like his are not new, but it is nice to talk to someone who has actually done it. My office partners started their coffee business with a view to spread their love for siphon coffee. They still keep their main work and manage their coffee business on the side. Our desires may be bourgeois and commonplace, no matter what our dreams are , one must not hold back if one has a plan for what he or she really wants to do.
I do not have a list of dos and don’ts for my children. I only hope that they are bold enough to listen to their instincts and possess the grit and conviction to follow their dreams. Quite often as we age, we become skeptical as we have been through failures,rejections and at some point in the past we might have seen or felt humiliation or heard about what happened to those who had ventured and failed miserably. In a nutshell, we are all afraid to fail as failures can make or break a person. As parents, we are worry warts and because we are worried about their future, we get them to start reading at a young age and send them to endless classes, put them through tertiary and advise them to get some qualification that will promise a bright and lucrative future. We are far from originality in terms of our aspirations for our children. We are eager to set our children on track from young and we avoid the uncharted path because we feel that the truly ingenious ones are very few and the geniuses are definitely genetically determined. Surely in this era, the young has enough of their fair share of pre-loaded computer datas including global positioning system (GPS) to navigate them from one geographical location to another, there must be room left for them to follow their intuition and find their inner voices and their true passions.
Ideally, given whatever circumstances they are in, every individual must be able to follow their heart and be daring to make their own choices as to what they want to do in their lifetime so as to arrive at the kind of person they want to be and hope to become. Namaste.