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The interviews pose issues such as, where exactly are we going wrong in the process of developing happy, content humans? There are differences among the masses, but a look at the majority reveals a fear of the age-old question: Will age treat me right? Will it be compassionate or harsh, like it is now? However, the more crucial question that must be addressed is: Where are we going wrong? These are the various questions that may be taken from the interviews I conducted, and I was able to witness a variety of perspectives on life from people of various ages. As children, we want to grow up instantaneously, but when age finally arrives it comes as the uninvited, unwelcome guest at the celebrations of life. Age brings with it the reality of life and the realization that control is just a mere illusion (Ross). As seen above in the interviews, it gives fruits of labor the way it wants to. We may work towards one end goal and end up with a completely different result than from the one expected. Once the brain’s cognition starts developing it starts learning behaviors of the common. So where exactly are we going wrong?
On these bases, there is a need to think if children should be raised in the light that life never actually rewards you with what you deserve or maybe it does exactly that. According to this learnt behavior there is a need to teach them to essentially be unhappy and keep their expectations low (Donaldson 186). The future must seem to them a yawning abyss anyway, so why not prompt them towards this same belief. But that is nothing if not incorrect.
However, a finger cannot be pointed towards life and declare to children that this is eternal doom. The problem lies in our teaching system. Education should be for the sake of education and not for the right to take part in the never-ending race of achievement. The education system seems to have the copyright to generate mindless robots; it is not place for the aesthetic mind. It entails a constant race to get better grades, better remarks, better jobs and a better life. However, in the process of robotics, individualism is forever lost.
Children work hard all their life to achieve the goals set by their predecessors. They are promised that if the plan set out for them is materialized then they will gain whatever goods life must offer. The reality on the other hand is much different from the star painted skies. The truth in fact remains that there is no formula for life and no plan which can be followed to success. Hard work does not always ensure success and shortcuts do not always ensure happiness. Generations full of a populace like that the race can only lead you down a road which is not always winding towards success (Heppner 72).
Thus, it is important that our children not be made into mechanic robotics which face down the barrel of endless doom calling it life. They need to be shown by example if possible that hard work can result in victory if done in the right way. Three generations of people following the same system show us that a change is required desperately.
If we analyze the interviews thoroughly we can see the gradual change in opinion: a descent from hope to hopelessness, if you may. The six-year-old Alex has a very optimistic view on life. He declares blatantly that he wants to grow up and become a “giraffe” and if not that, then he would suffice to be a teacher and an astronaut. Should we call this the innocence of a child or blissful ignorance? It can be said that at that stage of development everything seems to be going correctly. The child is happy enough, content with having a lot of friends. But the problem lays in the fact that he maintains the urge to grow up suddenly. Trivial problems (as we all have once known) surround the six-year-old mind. Children strive to grow up thus they can escape matters such as bed on time and parental permission. They view age as the beautiful unknown of possibilities: the realm of absolute control. Considering this information one can state that the earliest stage of biological and cognitive development entails the process has not gone wrong yet.
The problem as observed, starts somewhere in early or late adolescence; we gain this from the information provided by the interviewee, John. On being asked about the education system, the seventeen-year-old declared he didn’t like it so much. He went on to describe his teachers as horrible, unsupportive and borderline aggressive while the other adolescents were said to maintain an addiction to a self-righteous air and the birthright to be treated like royalty. We can obtain the fact from this information that John struggled from a lack of attention. He admitted to having seldom friends and uninterested parents.
Keeping all this in mind we can factor in the mistakes which lead to the obvious descent to hopelessness. Is it the education system? The lacking parental attention or the unavailability to actual, supportive friends? The answer remains that it is not just one of these things but a mixed cocktail of all these situations. This is where it all starts to go wrong. On seeing John situation, we can devise clearly that communication is a very important part of cognitive development. A child needs his/her parents or any sort of a mentor to show that they remain there for absolute and unconditional support. We may in turn be able to pin the blame of a generation gap and the introduction of round breaking technology but the fact remains, that it all comes down to the appropriate attention; which only works when provided by the right source. But if that cannot be provided owing to numerous reasons listed in the prose above, then it leads to the canon-struck arrival of pessimism.
Viewing the stage latter to adolescence, also marked as early twenties, we can finally conclude that all that glitter isn’t gold. The middle aged declare this era of life to be the deck of irresponsibility and freedom, while the younger ones view it with the same sentiments. However, on a closer look we conclude that the twenties while a stage of much ease is no less burden bearing than any other age; when life proceeds, so do the problems that come along with it. One is under the immense pressure to establish one’s self; to find one’s footing and balance in the turbulent waters of a highly competitive world.
Thus, where the young men and women are seen to be just starting off with their lives, they are establishing the bases of a sustainable one. However, that may all go as it pleases according to the individual’s perspective on life. This in turn depends on the individual’s previous life experiences. In a conversation with Steve we obtain that though his view of life is quite optimistic he is still afraid of the unknown. But to counter, we add; who isn’t?
It is not human to not question the future for none from the far ahead can be foreseen. Steve seems to be facing an identical problem. The flaw in the plan of life is that there is no absolute plan. One can maintain the illusion of control but the road winds down to wherever it wants to. The problem seems to lie ironically in this uncontrollable urge to control everything. We may blame several things from mistakes in basic parenting to range of many others. Man can view the future with the hateful pessimism or enlightened hopefulness but it eventually comes down to the nature of man.
Life can provide one with endless opportunities and it is our responsibility to raise our children to seen the bright side of every situation. This can be achieved with whatever means feasible, let it be communication, unconditional support or whatever provides the child with the sense that they have a safety net to fall back on. The future is not scary, it is the perception that the unknown might lead to earth-shattering destruction of what one builds over the longest period. It is solely our job to show our children that though unknown the future brings what is best.
Donaldson, Stewart I., Maren Dollwet, and Meghana A. Rao. "Happiness, excellence, and
optimal human functioning revisited: Examining the peer-reviewed literature linked to
positive psychology." The Journal of Positive Psychology 10.3 (2015): 185-195.
Heppner, P. Paul, FREDERICK TL Leong, and H. U. N. G. Chiao. "The growing
internationalization of counseling psychology." Handbook of counseling psychology 4
Ross, Lee, and Richard E. Nisbett. The person and the situation: Perspectives of social
psychology. Pinter & Martin Publishers, 2011.
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