By JAVEID HASSAN MALIK
We are living in the era of the fourth industrial revolution courtesy the information technology revolution. Gone are the days when the maxim of life used to be survival of fittest; now it’s the survival of the smartest. We have to outsmart the smartest technology for survival; otherwise simulation, artificial intelligence and robotics technology are waiting to overpower us and we will be rendered useless and jobless , thus virtually extinct. What has happened in the past with other creatures who couldn’t mould themselves with the demands of the times thus perished as if nothing of them ever existed on universe. Our jobs are being stolen by robotics technology; machines have become our masters.
Technology is following us like a shadow and it keeps no specific address. Now are we and our kids prepared to face the challenges that future technology presents? We are not changing but want the world to change in our favour. That won’t happen. The manner in which we are bringing up our kids is equivalent to converting fertile land into barren land by not facilitating it with right nutrients at the right time thus what appears to be a healthy creature in visuals is handicapped in reality.
Our school, colleges and universities are working like factories for producing unemployed graduates. The world has moved beyond our text book notes which we still cram to score good marks. We seem to have confined our learning to four walls of classrooms but we need to awaken and enlighten our rotten grey matter that real knowledge is beyond the four walls of classroom and we need to get out of trend of weighting intelligence of our kids in academic percentages but there is something called emotional intelligence about which we all fall flat like punctured tyres. We might be living in quake proof big bungalows but our souls live in smaller hearts, which are as fragile as glass.
By pampering our kids beyond limits, we are spoiling their future; our kids are physically well developed but emotionally handicapped. They can’t face small challenges in life and often lay down their arms before hardships of life. We never let our kids fall and thus they never got lessons of how to rise after falling; we never teach them about failure; we only narrate one part of the story of great achievers in life to them, that is, the success part. The real stories of hardship faced by these achievers are never narrated. The strange fact about the life is that we tend to learn more from failures than victories. In rough patches of life, our nears and dears turn sympathizers in our failure rather than supporting us to overcome failure.
There was a time when kids were reprimanded for spending too much time in the playing field. But, now parents have to drag their kids to playfields as the addiction of mobile phones have made them habitual of staying indoors. Our kids live in the online world of social networking; they spend their days and nights out on smart phones as it has become an extension of their hand. They have thousand in Facebook friend lists but no one ready to shoulder them when in need. They are online warriors on smart phones where they play and kill beasts like dinosaurs with touch of finger on touch screens but in real life they are even afraid of mosquitoes, leave aside cat and dogs. Our school going boys whose hand and eye coordination are always stuck with Smartphone upon noticing solitary sleeping canine on street while walking alone instead of paving their way by throwing stone at him prefers to dial emergency call to papa for help. This is how we are making our kids brave, bold, smart. We never let our kids to do physical work like preparing coffee, gardening, planting saplings, which could have been their hobbies but we don’t want to spoil their chubby hands; we want to see them sail in sea of comfort and we are caught on the wrong foot when they suddenly encounter. If you are a keen observer like me, you would have noticed on any street in your area early morning, the number of people accompanying our kids to stop to ferry them in school buses out number students. The duty of these people, especially grandparents, has become carrying school bags and lunch boxes in post-retirement life.
We have to teach the lessons of self-reliance to our kids. A self-reliant person has iron will and strong determination to face all challenges and obstacles in life to rewrite his or her new destiny.
—The author holds an MSC in Chemistry. He is NET/SLET qualified and can be reached at: [email protected]