14 March, 2009

My Father Says... Hold My Finger

In the name of Allah the beneficent, the Merciful
When I was young, my father used to take me on a walk in the evening. While walking, he used to move his clenched fist towards me, asking me to hold his first finger. I used to hold his finger and follow the direction in which he walks. Thus, he served as a guideline and helped me to walk in crowded places.
Same is the case in life. Our parents tend to be a role model and help us through every matter of life. At every step, we seek their guidance, in every trouble, we call upon them. As after God, they are our sole strength. Surely, our parents are the one who always want and require the best of best for us.
Have you ever thought that what do you want to do? What are your objectives and goals? Who are your role models? By whose support you have been able to lead a successful life? To whom, most of the decisions of your life are linked? The common answer to all these queries is "your parents".
Most of the times, numerous matters and decisions about our life are influenced by our parents, their thoughts, their experiences and the impact of social and environmental features on their minds and lives, which later on, also leave a glimpse on our lives.
We are the inhabitants of an Islamic state. Although every society, community or religion of the world lays a firm stress upon the respect, honor and dignity of parents, but Islam has a prominent focus upon this particular aspect. It is in Qur'an,
"And treat your parents fairly."
Therefore, in our culture too, parents are held at a high esteem. As mentioned earlier, every parents of the world want an excellent for their children and while following this firefly of excellence, they often neglect their children's interests especially in countries like Pakistan.
You may have seen around you, especially in an Asian culture, that during the current age of technology, modernization and success, everyone is in the struggle to be the pioneer. In this blind race towards success, we have forgotten our areas of interests. Money-making is becoming the core function of our lives. Man is devising numerous short-cuts to attain the heaps of currency-notes, without thinking that short-cuts only lead to temporary satisfaction. Here, success is only deemed of a white-collard society. The charm of money is considered the sweetest of all dreams whether the money is coming from any source.
It is a very common practice now-a-days, that not only we aim to practice the most money-making profession but also want our children to do the same, irrespective of their interests of life. Consequently, a child/student either becomes a rebellion against parents or chooses a field, one dislikes.
The point, I want to manifest here is that, children must be allowed to carry on and move forward to practice their own areas of interest. Why do we want our children to be doctors and engineers only? Although this perspective has changed to a large extent, but there is still a good need to comprehend the situation. The science of selecting and studying a particular subject or discipline really matters a lot in terms of the future of a student. Is it better to have a doctor who becomes unconscious at the operation theatre upon seeing the injuries, or an artist or a teacher who is best at the performance and has the guts and abilities to be a Nobel Laureate one day? Surely, the later option will seem better to you.
Parents must "hold the finger" of their children, but should also consider their interests. They must hold their finger to show them a right path which leads to their satisfaction and prosperity, rather to cause an agitation in their minds. The unconditional love of parents must be implied to find a mutual success, happiness and peace of mind, for themselves and their children, while selecting a particular profession.
They often want their children to follow the profession they want. It mostly results in mal-performance and poor consequences. The child/student, who may be very bright and shiny in any field of one's interests, is corroded at mind. Even if one tries to perform well, the devotion and full-heartedness always lacks. One is never able to outshine despite the selfless efforts made.
Shakespeare said,
"Choose the work you love, you will never have to work a single day in you life."
So, it can be said that, this imposition is fairly wrong that children are compelled to follow the directions crafted out by their parents or family, in which they are not interested at all. It is a bitter reality that parents try to encroach right from their children to decide their future priorities according to their own will and interests. They should understand that one can perform well in the field, where the mind finds interest.
Pakistan is a third world country. It needs a fuel of hardworking, industrious, energetic and capable youth to ignite its engine of success and prosperity to reach the destination of global recognition as a powerful nation. So, what are we giving to our nation, our state? An efficient and effective workforce or a meek labor dissatisfied at mind, who works aimlessly and half heartedly just to please the family members? It is a point to ponder and an alarming situation in the current crucial circumstances of our state. It is commonly observed that people in our country, or widely speaking, in Sub-continent or Asia, think for individual benefits and interests. Nation building thoughts are merely lacking and if exist, do not have an influence over a wider span. To lead our nation and country towards the road of prosperity, we must think for the collective benefits. If an individual is successful, satisfied and progressing, a nation would be a progressive one.
It is a recognized fact that man gets the same for which he tries to get. Now, kindly think over it. Will one try to achieve a thing he/she is not interested in? Will one perform a certain task for the sake of others, if it does not render any fruitful results, even done with full zeal and zest? Not at all. There will be difference; an apparent and striking difference of thought and performance.
Now the question is, why this all is happening? Why the students are forced and compelled to follow the paths, they don't even want to step upon? The most probable answer to it is the lack of a proper communication and the existence of a wide generation gap between the parents and children. Today's human being is frustrated. To get rid of this frustration and tension, one wants to hold a sole authority. This authoritarian style, a bossy and monopolistic attitude and an urge to lead everyone and every matter of life, has made the behaviors very rigid and harsh. Parents don't want to understand their children and children don't want to follow their parents. Our attitudes are no more flexible towards life.
I don't want to put a critical note and strong condemnation over the part of parents as they can never think wrong for their children. Every parent in the world has own way of expressing affection, care and love for their children. If they are strict, children must not take them of wrong consideration, rather should try to explain them, their purview. Parents should also provide sufficient room to their children to have a right of say for their present and future, as anything lacking interest and vigor cannot render profitable upshots.
Why to go so far? I give you my own example. I am a student of BBA (Honors), under the discipline of Banking and Finance. People use to dream of this field. They feel a pride to be a part of this growing corporate sector. But what to do of a mind which is plunged in colors instead of counting the currency notes? What to do of a heart which urges on to draw, paint and create rather than to analyze the trends of stock markets? What to do of fingers which exhort to hold a paint-brush or a pencil to sketch, rather than to quiver on the keyboard from 9 to 5? What to do of a soul which finds serenity in a literary conversation or a society instead of handling a tricky business? Does anybody have an answer? Probably not. I have become a sort of a creature who sits in a class of "Financial Analysis" to analyze the annual reports of a maize company. I think of the beauty of the corn, nature has bestowed to it, instead to cogitate on the revenue generated by the organization through processing and selling out this corn. Hence, it can be said that it is merely a matter of interest.
Here I quote a famous proverb:
"A bird in hand is worth two in the bush."
It clearly explains its meanings in itself that instead of running after the abdicable goals and to achieve nothing, it is better to attain an admirable level by following the desired directions whole heartedly. Nothing in this universe has been created in vain. The need of the hour is just to unveil the hidden capabilities in any person. To narrow-up the wide distances of communication and to squeeze the generation gap by the mutual understanding of both the parents and children is vitally essential. Behaviors must be very flexible to survive as a prosperous society and a healthy nation at mind.
Anything done with hard work and devotion always yields success. Hence it is better to let the children do what they are interested in, on the other hand to see them as a failure, which no parents in the world want. Parents must be a friend, a guideline and a helping source in themselves rather than being a severe critic. Children must feel free to discuss any of their issues with them instead of being reluctant, hesitant and frightful while talking to their own beloved parents. Parents must be at a place of honor where the children always look for them and seek their guidance and positive help to say:
"Papa, hold my finger."

Author : Hareem Fatimah

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  1. A very important topic! Beautifully written! Ma sha Allah

  2. A very important topic! Beautifully written! Ma sha Allah