Alarming is the pace
Of an interminable race
In which teens are compelled to take part
Letting go of compassion, the humane departs
Little thought for dignity or grace.
Synchronised thumbs type fervently on the keyboard with vivacious energy. Intense concentration. Driven to post their status, key in messages, upload that essential form or procure information with a smile that seems to be meant for the screen into which they stare. How much they tackle and how much they can manage in the twenty-four hours that restrict the liberty anyone can take with time. Talented yet targeted the teens of the current world fascinate me. Their abilities and skills: unfathomable. Knowledge flows unrestrained from their finger-tips. Information sits at the edge of their tongues. Amidst all the turmoil these on the move youth make it seem that all is cool. They subdue their stress. But the smile on their face is deceptive. It conceals the immense responsibility on their young shoulders. Studies, projects, more studies, assignments, tests & exams, college admissions, placements…. A lot happens in their lives. A lot is at stake. The list goes on. Spoilt for choice with devices and info overload; yet saddled with so much to do in a short span. There is so much more to them managing their life and affairs.
Tackling! Juggling between tasks and socialising they manage to submit the application and even catch up with friends and be around family when they need them. They don’t seem to have it easy even for a moment. Target of time constraints is just the tip of the ice-berg. Target of peer pressure (teasing, bullying, keeping pace) with a rising need to make it in the world has riddled their lives with much; they brave it all. Viciously competing, not to be left behind in an unceasing marathon of accomplishments that require dabbling with unethical, unsavoury means. Can their thinking minds ever be at ease? Restless in their rest they multi-task all the time. To me it seems that they are in a rush for fear of missing out on something. So they accept the challenge that come up and plunge into a competition with the others around.
Ironically, despite the pressures to perform they remain in the line of fire- of parents who wish that their children do better than those of their friends/neighbours/strangers. Be at the top-the place that is single and solitary too! Target of parental ambitions and dreams, much is expected from them and they try to meet these expectations.
Target of over-ambitious schools which in their scrambling to stay ahead of each other seem to have missed the point that education involves being human too, learning life skills that would help to add value to the society, live in peaceful co-existence so that community, nations and world flourish.
An idealistic situation, not easy to attain? I consider our urge to rush responsible for this turmoil in the lives of these terribly talented teens who have had brilliant exposure but lack composure. It saddens me to see that the best growing years of the youth seem to be sucked in the black hole of mindless competition that is taking way true living and loving time.
Am I advocating a no competition scenario? Absolutely not! That would be a ‘non-human’ trait. An unacceptable trend. It would kill the very spirit of mankind. All I suggest is applying the brakes, slowing the pace so that there is time to breathe easy, look around, enjoy life. The leap into the future mustn’t take away from the priceless ‘now’, the current moment. Let us allow our gifted teens to take steps at their individual pace. And the teen time- twirl and tango.