Monday, October 10, 2005

Article- Shaping your child's future- Do you want to be a potter or a Gardner?

Mr Azim Premji is the world’s first or second richest Indian today. He has written a wonderful article in the Times of India on Education and goes on to say that the same policies followed in his company has produced immense wealth as a bi product. He says that the primary purpose of a school is to guide the child’s discovery of herself and her world and to identify and mature the child’s talents. Just as each seed contains the future tree, each child is born with infinite potential. In the article he suggests that many teachers and parents try to be potters instead of Gardners in moulding their children’s future.” Imagine a school in which sees children as seeds to be nurtured-here the teacher is a gardner who tries to bring out the potential already present in the child. This is very different from the current view which sees the child as clay to be moulded where the teachers and parents are potters deciding what shape the clay should take. There is an old Chinese saying ,” Give a seed to a potter and you shall have a bonsai." Current India President A.P.J Abdul Kalam who has headed organizations in defence, space and atomic energy in his autobiography writes “If you are a writer who would secretly prefer to be a lawyer or a doctor, your written words will feed but half the hunger of your readers; if you are a teacher who would rather be a businessman, your instructions will meet but half the need for knowledge of your students; if you are a scientist who hates science, your performance will satisfy but half the needs of your mission. The personal unhappiness and failure to achieve results that come from being a square peg in a round hole is not by any means new. “ In another part of the book Mr Kalam states, “ I myself would tell naviete engineering students that when they choose their specialization, the essential point to consider is whether the choice articulates their inner feelings and aspirations” It was in the year 1978 that I first read “Do not feel compelled to join the family business just because it is there. Every child is a gambler when he chooses his profession.and one must chart one’s own course” Being in school at that time, I thought that this was hogwash and everybody should have a readymade business which they can join. Actually, I was more gifted as a writer and a poet than a businessman but this took me 14 long, agonizing years to realize by which time it was almost too late. Enid Blyton and Charles Dickens have admitted that if they were given an article to write , they would find it as difficult as the normal person. So one can not really afford to be even in the wrong subvocation. How can one then afford to be wrong in the main vocation? . In the last two decades, I have read heaps of material on job misfits. I have read about a mediation that takes you back to your previous life to deicide what you shall be doing in this life. There are books like “ How to find the job that you like?” and “ What shall I do with my life” HRD consultants in 28 countries, Morgan and Banks have stated that “People do not know what they want to do and then choose a career they didn’t know even existed” . Recently best selling book “ The monk who sold his Ferrari” also lays stress on finding and doing the work of one’s inclination. One writer also said that the wrong occupation was lifelong imprisonment and misery. Some of the best quotations of career problems are

Considering the fact that luminaries from the literary field like Emily Dickenson, Shakespere , Victor hugo and many others lived a lifetime of anonymity and became famous after death should also inspire sites like www.authorsden.com to be a little more proactive in talent detection. It is no doubt one of the best sites otherwise. Generally it would be better if the world would be more obsessed with "humotech" instead of running after "biotech" or "infotech". The person is more important than the process in this context.

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