Let’s me take this new start of the year to put my foot down.
We Indian teenagers have been bullied enough for years so far not by humans but the “values” or “Sanskar” that our parents are apparently trying to instill into us. It would be sad to go on and declare all these values are wrong and completely irrational but just because values as a word shines in pride, the very habits that fall under the category don’t necessarily bring out the gleam of acceptance and discipline in all of us.
What are values? (The real definition sourced from sensible ancestors and some good piece of writings, and bad experience)
Values are ETHICAL habits and norms taught to us that allow us to behave civil and with humility. With the ability to understand the difference between right and wrong, these lessons teach us to live a humane lifestyle with peace and direct us in a decorum way of living to be a successful good kind human being. They are supposedly unaffected by extreme mindsets of the CURRENT generations and even the PREVIOUS generations and rather fall in the middle of the band with the extremes of right and wrong and in a way determine how ethical an human being is.
What are values? (The unrealized new definition changed over time by the pressures of society and problem “what will my neighbor think”)
Values are now a way of living. The norms that were supposed to be used to direct our life now control our every action. The part of determinism of a person’s nature by values remained in the new definition too, but that will project an extremely unfair conclusion since the rules; in fact the whole category has changed from right and wrong to socially acceptable and arousing aggregative consequences, with most of the time no rational explanation. It does not make us better people anymore, but makes us frustrated beings behaving in ways that people around them will prefer and not look at with disgust and shame in their eyes rather than being ethical.
It is difficult to be objective while writing this article, but this topic is meant to be influenced by opinions of an individual. Yet none of you will deny agreeing with me. Values aren’t made by god, religion or “dharam” but are brain children of human understanding of civil and monstrous behavior. Sadly, we have forgotten what real values are. For example, a person who helps another in a time of a car accident will be named “heroic” while all others crowd around like muted dolls, but the very same person will be dismissed and shamed by the very same crowd for not visiting the temple as regularly, or called the black sheep for staying out too late or wearing certain clothes by own choice.
Well, did values teach us to shame people in this way? To disrespect someone’s feelings which are completely human because they are gay, transgender or believe in religion and concepts different than most people? Because from where I stand right now, I can see people threatened by things that question the validity of norms that have been passed on through years but NEVER questioned. Because the people who did have the courage to raise a voice are killed, raped, jailed or at a lower level swatted away as being inexperienced and wrongly raised.
A reporter publicly raped for questioning irrational killing of people in name of god, young children killed as retaliation to show the “feelings” of others are ironic examples of values that are being passed on to us. How funny is it that the reason for a girl’s rape is because she didn’t have “sanskar” because she was wearing shorts or roaming at night or she didn’t call the rapist “bhaiya” when he tried to molest her? But yet, nobody questions the morals of the boy for even looking at any women that way. May be his society forgot to tell him that raping doesn’t fall under values.
Coming to the challenges we face as teenagers today are categorized as the struggles any normal teenager faces thus not much attention is paid to them since they are part of the ‘behavior of their age’. As the psychology of people has changed, we teenagers have demanded more respect and understanding. We refuse to follow rules blindly, because the loopholes and restrictions are obvious to us and that’s why “todays generations has no values” is heard oh so often.
Why does everyone fail to see that some norms should be revisited? A child doing well in academics and being well behaved in front of our eyes will be doing things behind everyone’s back which may be taboo because he was told a well behaved child in front of others is an ideal child. This understanding only makes us rebellious and discouraged and the constant pressure to be ideal makes the problem of drinking and drugs among youngsters worse. Nobody ever tells us to do what we want or believe is our opinions unless they are similar to what others think. And this is exactly because of which we seek out to break free from the constant nagging and the only way to do this is rebel to fight for what we feel.
A teen who stands up for himself when his parents raise their hands and voices making him feel insignificant is called ill-mannered and a “shame” to the family while this is the just a nature thing to do. The defensive mechanism has developed and the child has been damaged. Voicing opinions and feelings is interrupted the minute the family values are threatened and is immediately treated under lack of experience and immaturity.
We are made rebels by the inconsiderate society and conservative families. They rather hide the child’s feelings and thoughts under the reason of being “too young”, “immature” or because some distant aunt or uncle finds it interesting to gossip about. Thus it is safe to say, we are who we are because we were shaped this way. Values duh.
It might be difficult to change these inconsistencies in our society but “values” are taught at home and while they are being taught they need to be relearned too. Thus rather teach us to be rational rather than being socially correct. Yet again I might mention, values are not what people thinking is the right thing to do, but are the norms that keep us civil, empathic and loving.
Sadly these values are lost to the eroding “valid” ideals of society.