I’m so happy living in today’s world…
Absolutely love it. People constantly talk about how great the past was. Actually, one realises things are much better now.
As a writer, I’ve been through all the computer programs starting with WordStar. I clearly remember the time when Microsoft was a fresh new word. I thought, ‘Oh God, another word processing program to learn???’ NOOOOOoooo! I had wanted to stay with WordStar. Then I was told, ‘you’ll have to shift because everyone is on to it now!’ Yes, I had to!
My husband and I had the same desktop computer. One fine day I’d come to find it all changed. He had updated and upgraded the computer. So, then I’d have to learn new ways. I had deadlines to meet. I had to send regular articles to Dawn or Woman’s Own magazine. It was quite horrific for me. Usually, I was teaching, busy with my three kids, and air force social life. It was quite a challenge!
Though I found the upgrading frustrating, yet I couldn’t crib, Because I was getting it done automatically by hubby dear, later I’d find myself bragging to my friends :
‘ I have the latest program and am using it!’ So, it wasn’t so bad after all. When I became the computer teacher at PAF School in Masroor, Karachi, id be using those floppy disks.
Yes, I’m talking of a long time ago. Its true that many things were fun then. But many more things are fun now. Things are faster and easier. So much more convenient. But most of us try to make out as if life used to be perfect earlier. Now it isn’t.
My mentor Abbas Husain and I often talk about it. He said,
‘Parents come to me feeling exasperated with their teenagers. Then they say,
’ I know everything, this child of mine knows nothing! I have experience. My child has none! How can he know what I do?’
Abbas Husain continued ‘How do I explain to him? The fact that we are standing in this timeline now – for instance, this is the 2018. If a parent has ‘experience’, then it would be of at least twenty to thirty years ago. But then actually, it would be even earlier than that (Seventies and sixties?) ! If you were in college during the 1960, or 1970s or even the 1980s, then how can you relate to the current times? How can you say you have experience? Yes, you had experience living in the past times. But the experiences that our children are having now, are all new to us. The world they are living in, is totally different to the one we lived in, when we were their age. We didn’t live in this fast paced, mobile, internet, and global virtual world. So, how can we say that we have experience?
Not of this kind, at least.
As teachers, we are preparing our children for a world that we ourselves haven’t seen. As the great Khalil Jibran says:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite.
And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hands be for happiness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves the bow that is stable.
… they come from us, but they belong to another time and space.
We haven’t seen that world, but sure know where they are heading! In Pakistan, in institutions like GIK NUST and FAST, students are being taught subjects that are still not being used in Pakistan. So, they end up going abroad. Well, knowledge is for the universe and humanity and never goes waste.
I’m talking about the grown-ups talking about ‘how good it was in their times.’ ‘Hamaray zamay mein to har kaam bohot khoob hota tha. Aj kal ki tarha nahi!’ (with a scowl). The fact is nothing is perfect at any time. Nor is it now, and nor was it then. Yes, many things were done very well then. Many things are done even better now. So, it is up to us to remember the good times of past as well as to relish and appreciate what we have today.
The youth of today is awesome. (The ones who aren’t will be awesome soon too. Provided we encourage them and stop criticizing them all the time.) We need to handle things and people with love and genuine regard. Only then will things work out for the best.
It isn’t about ‘I’m the best, and it is my way or the highway.’ It is about, ‘let us find out what is the best thing to do in these circumstances. Let’s do it together.’
What we grown ups have is experience in age-old values, like hard-work, honesty, integrity, loyalty and patriotism. We have the value of honoring our elders, and to respect each other. These are the experiences that we need to share with the youth.
As I write, a eureka event is taking place, it is also the principle in Management, to tell your emplyees what to do, and leave it to them as to how to do it. Usually, they know even better ways to do a thing in a shorter span of time.
Take computer experience for instance, these children are professional at it. They are amazing. Yet, if you take the handling of emergencies, we are amazing at it. So, we work together, let them be the ‘boss’ in one field, while you be the boss in yours. Similarly, we do have smarter financial handling concepts. But now, some of the youngsters are also picking up.
Hey! It’s not a competition. It is team work. The elders and young people of society need to work as a team. Then together we all can have the time of our lives!
So, you see, how to do things, is a matter for them to figure out. Many of them are doing it better than us. They are more experts in the gadgets of today. Yes, I know, we have some amazing recipes to share with them, and lovely housekeeping ways.- Specially to manage the staff and all family members to promote love and harmony among the clan.
The greatest thing that has been going on throughout the ages is love and faith. Faith not only in Allah, but faith in the goodness that lies in all human beings.
So, why not all of us enjoy this ‘time of our lives’ together?
Why don’t we teach each other. In the process, to earn each other’s respect? Let us keep that ‘open door’ policy in our homes – to have love, peace and harmony between the generations living under one roof.
How to enjoy our present times more:
- Listen to music of present times, select and enjoy movies, learn about prominent personalities of all types and for all ages.
- Learn and use the gizmos and gimmicks, before condemning everything and everyone.
- Find the goodness in people and things of today.
- Life has changed. For the better:
- We couldn’t keep an eye on our maids like now.
- We cannot contact them, as now.
- Seeing children who are abroad.
- Whatsapp, facetime, facebook, email, blogs, vlogs, instagram…use them and enjoy them!
Meanwhile just enjoy this time-lapse pictures of last week by a 25 year old photographer Waliya Najib Khan, (my daughter). She went to the border of Pakistan and China at the height of 15450 feet. (around 1600 feet.) It is the world’s highest border. Even oxygen is less there! Let us be proud of our younger generation and support them!
Note: All photographed by author except time-lapse photography by Waliya Najib Khan.