The 21st century is witnessing the most amazing technological revolution but as a parent and as a Professor I am also seeing a stark change in the behavioural patterns of the kids/students of this century. On one hand where the kids/students’ are extremely tech-savvy and are easily acclimatizing to the new technological trends on a daily basis; they are however lacking some basic life skills which we as humans must possess. This is reflecting in their attitudes and hence the increase in failure rates. The most important and essential of all life skills and the one which students these days are lacking is that of taking responsibility…of their actions, their behaviour, their family and the list go on. What is, even more, worse is not only are they not taking the responsibility they are passing the buck to someone else by just playing the blame game…!
A normal conversation in college corridors between the professor and student after the results goes something like this:
Professor: What’s your result?
Student: Sir, 1 subject and 1 oral back?
Professor: (Sympathizing) You must work hard! Didn’t you put enough efforts, it’s such an easy subject?
Student 1: I had studied but the paper was very tough. And oral I answered everything but I think I was failed on purpose.
Student 2: I was prepared but was given less marks in Insem so could not pass in Endsem.
Student 3: Paper was completely out of syllabus, it was difficult for everybody.
Student 4: Teacher dint teach properly.
Student 5: Syllabus was too vast.
These are answers we as teachers / Professors / parents hear regularly. If you see the answers, no one student will ever say that I did not prepare, I didn’t study enough. They just put the blame on the staff, system, destiny etc. This is like playing, “Passing the Parcel” game. The moment the parcel comes to me, I quickly pass it to the other person and I’m saved and relieved. Well but we all succumb to it at one point and then have to take the penalty.
These very students graduate and find it extremely difficult to perform in the corporate world. Simply because they have the same attitude only they have found new people/circumstances to blame. The company rules are pathetic, the work environment sucks, the system is hopeless, it’s too far from my place, timings are inconvenient and so forth.
Still, they have not learned to take this adversity in their stride and make it into an opportunity and find a solution to it.
There are so many names I can give here who have not only converted their adversities into opportunities but have also conquered them. There are many in this list but I would like to mention 2 great names; first one of Stephen Hawking and the second one of Arunima Sinha.
Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with ALS and doctors also gave him only 2 years to live. But not only he lived for 76 years but went on to become one of the greatest scientist and his contribution to Physics and astronomy is well known. He had all the reasons to blame. He could blame his disease, his parents, God, destiny, doctors and many more but he chose otherwise. He took it as his responsibility to make every moment of his time on this earth worthwhile.
Well, Arunima Sinha is the second inspiration who was pushed by a bunch of robbers from the running train. Her leg was cut by the other passing train, she lay the whole night on the tracks with 49 trains passing by and rats and insects eating away into her wound and writhing in pain before she was taken to a local hospital with not much facilities for her treatment. She had lost her one leg, the other leg was with a rod in it and she had multiple spine injuries. Even though prior to this accident she was a national level volleyball player, in that state of pain she decided to become a mountaineer and not only aspired but later conquered the summit of Mt. Everest and thereafter many more.
She had all reasons to blame those goons who pushed her out of the train, or be bitter with all people for not helping her to the nearest hospital, or blaming the hospital and doctors for no facilities, blaming her parents for not being rich enough to give her all comforts, or blame God and destiny. But instead, she said that if God had given her a right to life than it’s her RESPONSIBILITY to make it a worthwhile experience.
So dear readers, it’s not the circumstances or situations or anybody else to BLAME… you need to take the RESPONSIBILITY and RISE above it…!!
SABA MUBEEN SHAIKH
Electrical Engineering Department.