The world’s largest democracy India, recently underwent the process of electing their new government and thus, political debates seem to be the favorite past-time of the season. We have all become way too familiar with terms like Liberals, Conservatives, Nationalists, Socialists, Right Wing, Left Wing, etc. Most developed countries are undergoing elections or are in a transition-phase. It is more important now than ever that we focus on raising responsible citizens.
Unfortunately, the system of gaining votes by banishing the opposition, ridiculing women and name-calling is what makes these developed countries seem to be on the contrary.
Development doesn’t necessarily only represent a huge infrastructure, tall buildings, swanky metros, huge shopping malls, big universities and out-of-the-world touristic hotspots.
Development of a nation needs to start at a grass-root level, with each individual.
Development begins in the mind first. Development lies in humanity, and is reflected in compassion, empathy and acceptance. If most so-called ‘developed countries’ had to go by these parameters of development, they would come out to be as the most under-developed nations. Unfortunately, we seem to have lost humanity and empathy for our fellow citizens, on a national and global level.
Collective Reform on the “Me First” Attitude
Unfortunately, this is where our system has failed us. Instead of making us think at a community level, each one of us is busy thinking at an individual level. Personal gains and benefits is what seem to matter the most.
Believe it or not, this ‘Me First’ thinking needs to be uprooted, for the betterment of our society. For it begins at our homes, where we teach our kids to look out for themselves first before others.
This thinking is further fueled by competitiveness at school and eventually turns into a mentality, which is very hard to break free from. And by the time we are done with school and college and ready to take up a job, we are told that now we will know about how hard and cruel this world is. Do we even realize that we are training ourselves to become that ‘hard and cruel’ part that we are always warned about?
We tend to begin most new phases of our lives with sheer competitiveness and selfishness. Competition over GPA, over who is getting more perks at work, over whose baby begins walking first, over whose food tastes betters and the list can go on.
Why can’t we just celebrate these milestones and achievements without comparing it to someone else? Why can’t we just take pride in that moment and be grateful for what we have achieved? Why do we have to out-do someone else or put someone down to make ourselves feel better? Does self-worth always have to come at someone else’s expense?
What was once just a thought process then gets imbibed into us and becomes a mentality. This eccentric mentality then lives with us forever and very few people are fortunate enough to break away from it. We get so used to thriving on others failures that we forget to cherish our own joys. And this is exactly what is happening all around us and this is why we see a huge rise in relationship instability, financial instability, depression, anxiety, bullying, substance abuse and other social and mental problems.
Raising Responsible Citizens
We need to start with mentoring the younger generation to uplift each other and look out for one another. A few ways how we can train our children to become more compassionate towards others are:-
Sharing is Caring
Be a Helping Hand
While trying to raise our kids well and teach them empathy, we are in turn bettering ourselves too. Every act of teaching someone to be good OR do a good deed is in fact a starting point for us, towards improving ourselves. And anything done habitually can turn a thought into a thought-process. So why not make it a POSITIVE one!
It is so important to teach our kids early to speak up about what needs to be better. Don’t forget to read these 20 ways to inspire kids by showing up every day with little acts of activism. It is the little things, that make a big difference as a collective.
Before building and developing the infrastructure and economy of a country, we need to start developing its’ citizens first.
And the best way to go forth is by focusing on building character. Tolerance, acceptance, compassion, respect, humanity, empathy are just to name a few of the characteristics that need to be imbibed into people.
For this is where, the true success of development lies!
You can find more easy activities you can do at home with your kids here.