Are we not going wrong somewhere?

I recall reading somewhere – “We talk so much about leaving a better planet to our kids that we forget about leaving better kids to this planet”

Honestly there could not be a better summing up to the honest concern of today. Recently I heard a very proud grandfather relate the following incident:

His 4+ grandson (note the age here) apparently has a knack for drawing. He keeps doodling all the time; seeing his love and passion for the arts, the parents but naturally, admitted him to a renowned art institute in South Calcutta. The institute soon realized his talent and sent his name for the All Bengal drawing competition.

This competition is held every year and across various age groups. They typically had the usual 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes. Later as an afterthought and feedback from a chief guest they now have prizes from 1st -10th! The more the prizes, the more the motivation for the children and better promotion for art, they say!

The paternal grandparents weren’t very appreciative of this. They felt he was being pushed into the rat race oh too soon!! He had his entire life left to come to terms with failures and success. A failure here would “demotivate” the child. (Yet again note the concern here) What if it made him loose his passion?

The smart and sensible woman of today, the mother assured her in-laws that even if the little talent failed to get a price they would buy him a gift and give it saying he won it….

The end of story child got 6th prize. The drawing of course beautiful and photographed from various angles by the grandfather, to readily show any eager viewers in a flash.

My concern here is just one- why does the child need a gift? Are you not by buying him one making him think that the prize is important? He needs to win it? Why are we not able to accept he didn’t win (note – the child didn’t lose! He participated which many of us wouldn’t dare do)? Is this the attitude we want our next generation to have?

And that’s why my question – are we not going wrong somewhere??