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Parents want the best for their children, but are their decisions always right? Leave career choices to the kids, and let them follow their passions, says this thoughtful piece.
My neighbour’s daughter came to me happily, with a box of sweets. She had cleared her board (HSC) exams with 93%. I asked her about plans for the future, and pat came the obvious reply – Engineering. She had always told me she was keen in pursuing Arts, but then this sudden change?
She is very good with paintings and murals, and also has an exhibition to her credit. I was not surprised, though. I was already expecting it. She had tremendous pressure from her parents and so-called ‘well wishers’ who wished for her to pursue an engineering degree or to become a doctor.
It reminded me of a dialogue from the movie 3 Idiots “Abba, main engineer nahi banna chahta, aur agar ban bhi gaya to bahot kharab engineer banunga” (Dad, I do not wish to become an engineer and even if I become one, I will be a very bad one). It got me thinking about the pressure Indian youth are facing today from all spheres of life.
With good intentions to see a bright future for the kids – that directly translate to own house in a great locality, bank balance, and a six-figure income – parents are left with little choice when it comes to deciding their child’s future; while the kid is programmed to accept the choice.
Indian youth have tremendous imagination and talent that is raw and needs to be harvested. Imagine if every one was either an engineer or a doctor, we would not have been blessed with a legendary singer like Lata Mangeshkar or a legendary cricketer like Sachin Tendulkar.
I have a few friends who have left well-paying jobs in multinationals to pursue their field of interest later in life.
I have a few friends who have left well-paying jobs in multinationals to pursue their field of interest later in life. However, today, dozens of burnt-out professionals are working in fields that they are not even remotely interested in, and are earning their bread and butter.
It is too late for them – as most are married and have an additional responsibility of their family. Some of them manage to keep their passion alive in the form of a part-time hobby while others have completely given up.
Statistics suggest that 75-80% of the people wish to leave their jobs in their mid-thirties to pursue their passion; call it mid-life crises or late realization but the fact is most of them drag themselves to work daily and what keeps them motivated is the smile on their kid’s face, well-meaning colleagues, or challenges at work which they eventually start enjoying.
Future writers, painters, sculptors, movie directors, actors, statisticians, lawyers or gardeners – they are all around us. I am not insisting that there should be no engineers of doctors, but it is high time we realize the potential of other professions and realize that if we work in a field of our passion, it hardly feels like work and life becomes more meaningful.
Pic Credit: NeoNihil (Used under a CC license)
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