For a Better World

I come from a mixed school. When I was in grade 4, we were seated around small desks with two boys and two girls per group. The other boy who was in my group was the smallest of the entire class. He was so small that everybody called him “Malli” despite some, like me, being younger. And I, was a smaller version of my current skin and bones self. So for us, the rather plump girl sitting on the opposite side looked *pause* huge. We started to point that fact out. Rather frequently and annoyingly. It was all fun and games till one day *pause* she started crying.

(Toastmaster, my dear toastmasters)

That day the 4th grader that was me, was utterly shocked. Dumbstruck shocked. But that incident was the reason for my resolution not to bully anyone again. I do not wish to talk about bulling though. It is a topic that has been discussed in many forums in many forms by many individuals.

I’d rather talk about how to use this ability of a child’s mind to shape their future and ultimately, the world. Here, in this example, the small incident gave way to a lifelong conviction making me an arguably a better individual. Resulting in positive contributions from me towards the society.

Not only self-suggestions, but also outside forces can have an impact on changing a child’s future. This is why there is an old Chinese proverb that says; “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.” So what you teach a child early on, can make a huge impact someday.

Humans have been utilizing this act of early education since early history. While progressive thinkers and rather ambitious parents have always been supportive of this idea, there has always been a set of naysayers.

Let me take a story from ancient history to illustrate this; a mother came to see Aristotle’s school and met the great philosopher.

Mother: I want my son to be educated at your school. But my child is very young and all the neighbours are saying that I am trying to teach him too early

Aristotle: How old is your child, madam?

Mother: He is only three years old!

Aristotle: Then let’s start right away madam, for you are three years too late.” 

That is how it was when educators controlled Education. But now the naysayers have slowly gained clout and the popular idea nowadays is to “let the child play” and when they say play, it is not the self-educational manner our forefathers used to play. It is about the mind numbing structured playing that we import from, mainly USA. It has now become almost a taboo subject to talk about giving a proper education to a preschooler.

I see this as a waste of potential. And potential is not something that we can afford to waste at this time and age. To know why, you should only listen to the wise words uttered by *pause* a famous *pause* villain *pause* in a movie.

In the moive Matrix, having a human hero bound up the machine villain says this; “I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Mammals develop a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? *pause*  A virus.”

Sounds very “villain-like” but is it not true?

There are many who express concerns about children. The safety and the welfare and the needs of children. There are many forums urging you to leave a good world behind for the sake of the next generation. But how many of you have given thought to the rather unpopular opinion?  The opinion shunned by the lobbyists of the “self-righteous political correctness camp”. Did you ever thought of leaving a better next generation for the sake of the world?

We need a solution but it does not work with the current generation. Why? Because they are accustomed to the way of thinking that they have been practicing for decades. Our only hope is to make sure that the next generation will not think in the same manner. Max Plank said “A new idea does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

So we need to convince the next generations. That is a given. But then again, it should be done in moderation. Remember the story that I mentioned in the beginning of the speech? What you might have missed is the fact that; I *pause* still *pause* do *pause* jest.  But I do not bully. This is something that most people are unable to comprehend. The difference between bulling and joking.

As Khaled Hosseini said; “Children aren’t colouring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favourite colours.” So for a better future let us come and educate the next generation but all the time bear in mind that there is a difference between education and indoctrination.

Over to you Toastmaster

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