Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Learning to Desire

When a child is born into the planet, he doesn’t know much, or rather at all about what the world is like. What is good and what is bad. What he’s supposed to be doing ,and what he’s supposed to be not doing. If you refuse to believe the astrological theory of zodiacs, time and place of birth shaping one’s personality, all of the behavior and personality are learned from the time the child is born. The human mind and heart of course carries forward the learnings from the evolutionary process, which means some instinctive knowledge that the humans acquired some centuries ago, would perhaps still be stored in my genes. I wonder, if this way of transmission of knowledge extends beyond the survival skills and other biology related processes.

Do we learn who to trust and whom not to trust from our genes? The thing about positive and negative vibes? The thing about aspiration turning into greed? Is a child born with all that knowledge?

Perhaps not. Most of it, is imbibed by what he sees in the surrounding. And who impacts his learning the most? The heroes, the ones who’ re regarded highly by the society. No one would care about the private realities of these heroes, but they’re idolized. This small child, naturally, not briefed about the deceptive nature of the world, where sinners masquerade as saints, takes his confused lessons from all these sources and then begins the race - a constant quest of becoming what’s heralded by the society as the best. If the surrounding world respects money, then that is the object of pursuit and likewise many other things.

By the very nature and process of learning, humans seem to be becoming the followers of the social mentality. Nothing inherently wrong with it, but when the society is not the best teacher, would we prefer isolating the kid and enable the learning from a select few, that are our idols? Isnt’ that an imposition on the child, to idolize what we believe is the best? What happens of his own choice? Should a more wholesome approach be to expose him to different walks of life, and let him learn and mature with that, giving him a true picture of the different virtues and vices as they are, without any judgmental statements. When he matures, he must decide for himself as to what he wants.

What we sometimes do, is try and keep the child in a cocoon, perhaps an incubator of sorts, when he’s shielded from the bad things in the world. Essentially, for a small period, it’s necessary but if it goes on for too long, it’ll mess up the child’s life.

Perhaps the story of the kind man extracting the pupa out of its shell is relevant here. If too much of help is given in the initial phases of growth, you might just hinder future growth by making it dependent on you.


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