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The survival of the fittest by Selvalakshmi

By Volunteer Selvalakshmi Arullselvam, FHI Pondicherry

Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela

Education is deemed as the golden ticket to upliftment. And when I say upliftment, what flashes past our minds are scenarios of financial independence, pumped up self-esteem, societal acknowledgement and inclusivity. But to me, as the greatly futuristic homo sapiens that we are, our emotional betterment and social accommodation skills have taken a backseat, owing it to the hassle of our lives. Parents are worried if their kids would make their marks and bucks in the world a tad more than necessary, sadly even deluding what ought to be their primary goal for their kids, which is to lead them down the road of humanity.

Toddlers these days, ruthlessly led into this engineered world, are being made to do advanced math, learn 3 languages and at what cost? Have we lost sight of what actually matters in this whirlwind of a romance for success? Why aren’t we teaching these amazingly capable young minds about thankfulness or empathy? Why aren’t we engaging them in conversations about climate change and gender equality? Why have we stopped giving them piggy back rides to put their tantrums to rest but instead have started using smartphones as holy pacifiers? Is this the cost of years of our magnanimous scientific and technological prowess? Have we brought this upon us ourselves? Well then, isn’t it upon us to ablute ourselves off of this man-made flipside?

Off late parents have come to accept how exacting the academic world of a three year old is, owing it to the online classes happening at their dinner tables. A silver lining to these troubling times. Parents have started to look up for better resources, better curriculum, one that sheds light on social and emotional learning.

Social and emotional learning helps young people to develop into responsible and engaged citizens with tools to aid such as resilience, healthy coping mechanisms, empathy and emotional intelligence. It focuses on mindfulness and self awareness. It brings about visible improvements in conflict resolution and a sense of social coexistence. And with all that is happening in the world, we could  use some empathy and kindness.

Needless to say is what this primitive education will escalate into in the long run. Well to reiterate some, the hopeful decline in gender crime, bullying and mental health issues. There are resources all over the internet to bring about this ripple – tonnes of activities and practices to choose from. To start off, listen to what kids these days have got to say. Let them take you into their world. Indulge them. Don’t squirm out of difficult conversations. Create a safe space for them and you will see them create a beautiful world.

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