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The Gap

June 6, 2008

Author : Amit

I have always wondered if our parents felt the same kind of anxieties and pressures when they were teenagers, on the thresh-hold of entering the big bad world of adults? Were they always under the scanner to be something or more specifically to be a doctor or an engineer?

After asking a set of adults, I came to the conclusion that things were a little easy earlier. There were more options and people didn’t forced their children into professions in which they were not interested. Then what happened suddenly? Why is the present lot of youngsters under such an immense pressure? Why are students committing suicide soon after their results are declared or worse just because of the thought of failing their parents? Is it a generation gap which has slowly seeped in and created a deep chasm between the two generation? Or is it something else?

India is a growing economy and maximum number of parents decide a child’s profession depending on the current trends visible in the society. An Engineer and a Doctor is supposed to have a very good income and a highly respectable social status and thus end up being the default choices. Engineering is here to stay for a long time because of the IT boom. What really worsen the situation is the number of students competing for a few seats. Or to be more specific, the Population explosion. When we have 1,00,000 students competing for 2,000 seats, we can imagine the number of cases where students tend to develop an inferiority complex which is further fuelled by the parents. The 2,000 students which got selected were brilliant, but does it mean that the rest of them were fools? Is it so hard to understand that there are 50 children competing for one seat and thus it becomes a matter of luck rather than intelligence? It might be possible that all 50 of them might be equally intelligent and have put an equal amount of effort.

Its completely inhuman to blame a child for not achieving something even when he/she has tried the level best. Another point is that of interest and inclination. How can you turn a painter into an engineer? Or a singer into a doctor?

Parents need to understand this, that they MUST let their children choose their own paths. Let them fall and let them learn from their mistakes. Parents need to be there to pick up their children when they fall, to support them and not to push them against the wall.

Parents need to understand that it is because of the previous generations and their Family (un)planning, because of which the present generation is suffering and they are not supposed to make it any worse.

Parents need to break out of the mindset that a child who is not a Doctor or an Engineer cannot be happy. If the child have the inclination, he’ll be one. But there is no point pushing a child in a job he’ll never be happy doing, which he’ll never love.

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. ~Confucius

What is it that you like doing? If you don’t like it, get out of it, because you’ll be lousy at it. ~Lee Iacocca

(The image is taken from –

24 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2008 8:27 am

    This is a very good post and and I think this is very much true for the parents to understand what problems their child is facing. I wish this content is read by most of the parents…!
    Good going Amit. I liked your post very much..

  2. Abha permalink
    June 6, 2008 10:37 am

    You think this meets your standard of writing??

  3. June 6, 2008 10:55 am

    Its nt about the stanadard of writing.. we just wanna bring out the social probz faced by the country πŸ™‚
    well i dont agree tht doctors and enginners are given a highly respectable status πŸ˜€
    this is a very good topic ..
    n parents should see the abilities in their children n stop comparison….comparison kills the talent
    n every child is special πŸ™‚

  4. June 6, 2008 11:39 am

    Very IMP topic you raised here Amit.
    Post is nice but I think it would have been more effective if presented as points rather than emotionally. Seen Nita’s posts? I mean we should make some standards just for sake of important topics like this.

  5. Abha permalink
    June 6, 2008 2:10 pm

    yeah..I agree its a very important topic.
    By standards I meant that you could have written this in much more effective manner, You have such capabilities!! The content should have been more powerful to leave an impression in mind of readers!!

  6. June 6, 2008 2:34 pm

    same pinch Abha πŸ˜›

  7. June 6, 2008 2:37 pm

    Excellent thoughtful post!
    I am from the previous generation Amit and I can say that pressures were extremely high in those days but the difference is that today there is more competiton. In fact today there are far more choices for young people. In our time there was just that doc engineer thing and there was a lot of pressure on girls not to go for the more ‘masculine’ professions like engineering. Today it’s far better…but then the grass is greener on the other side of the fence! πŸ™‚
    And when you say ‘choose a job you love.’
    That is the crux of it!!

  8. June 6, 2008 2:45 pm

    @Everyone : Guys!!!! πŸ˜† Please discuss the topic and not the way I write. I write really awfully. πŸ˜€ And thats why I blog. πŸ˜‰
    And I don’t have a standard of writing. Period. Infact I don’t have standards for anything. πŸ˜€
    @Nita : I was waiting for your comment. I wanted to know your viewpoint too. πŸ™‚ I too feel that the exponential rise in the population is the main problem. And yes, as you said, the grass is greener on the other side and I am very sure that the previous generation had their own set of problems when they chose their jobs.
    @Allirekha, @Joel : Thanks a lot. πŸ™‚

  9. June 6, 2008 3:52 pm

    and me???? :mrgreen:

  10. June 6, 2008 5:16 pm

    Survival of the fittest..

    If only everyone knew what exactly they want to do life’d have been so much better.
    And i feel nothing wrong in your parents wanting a safe a proven option for you. On an average, enggs and doctors earn more than most others.. unless of course you aspire to be a politician πŸ˜›

  11. June 6, 2008 7:00 pm

    If the subject is how Amit put his point across, I would say he has put it across very well. His post is very effective, and that is because it is from the heart. Always write from the heart and it touches the reader. Good going Amit!

  12. June 6, 2008 7:16 pm

    Great post Amit..Very well written.
    This is a competitive world. Small marginal marks like 0.5 or 0.8 make a huge difference to get into a good institution today.Hope the case doesnt worsen.
    Parents always have a say in choosing one’s career.But most of the parent’s like to it have their way and hence land up pressurizing their children.It is only good communication and understanding that can change it.

  13. Vijaya Bharat permalink
    June 6, 2008 8:05 pm

    So you conclude that parents just watch their children and they have to help if their children fall. You are telling one side that competition is tough and how u expect a fallen person can rise ? Chance comes only once Amit. You have to grab that when ever it comes before you. Once you miss that because of your lack of preparation, you will be a loser. I bet no parent want their children to be a loser. Thats why this much happening. They want thier children to be in good position than them. So they are keeping pressure on children. I think the ratio of those who fall because of pressure is less compared to who succeed. I too feel sorry for those who fall but this a world follows “Survival of the fittest” rule. I think this pressure helps the children to face reality. I may sound harsh but as per me its reality and its life πŸ™‚ I think in recent posts, I am opposing your thoughts, right πŸ™‚

  14. June 6, 2008 8:45 pm

    a very insightful post amit.And yes what you say is true.students are under so much of stress that whether they crack exams or not,physically and mentally cracks start appearing.I think tare zamin par,would have been an eye opener to the ignorant that not everyone can be the same…after all we are not bacteria…

  15. June 6, 2008 8:47 pm

    good post amit..
    wanted to correct u..
    In tamilnadu alone every year more than 20000 seats in engineering colleges remain vacant..why ?
    because students dont find the sufficient infrastructure..
    and yes..these dyas the pressure is more..and its hard for the average students to cope up

    @ abha and sudha
    as amit said amit has already written it and no point in talking abt it πŸ˜‰ by the way i dont feel anything is missing in the post …

  16. June 6, 2008 9:16 pm

    >> Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. ~Confucius

    Well said… Thank god I have the parents who allowed me to choose the course i wish. But i think this will go good in our generation….
    nice post dude..

  17. June 6, 2008 11:51 pm

    @Suda : Thanks to you too Suda. πŸ˜€
    @Sandeep : Yes, I agree that its good to have your parents choose something for you, but what if you don’t want that but something else?
    @Nita : Thanks Nita. πŸ™‚
    @Bhawna : Yes, very true. Parents need to communicate and not “boss” their children.
    @Vijaya Bharat : I think you are wrong Bharat. You can get many chances and I am the living example of this. I failed once miserably in meeting the standards of the competitions and fell flat on my face. My parents never pressurized me and never told me that I was failing them. They were there to support me and helped me stand up again and I don’t consider myself as a failure now. Life gives us many chances and parents need to understand the interests and inclinations of the child before burdening him/her with their own set of dreams and aspirations. If our parents want the best for us then they must understand that we won’t get the best by doing something we don’t want to do.
    @Vishesh : Yes, Taare Zameen Par was an eye opener. I hope many people must have learnt something from that movie. Thanks. πŸ™‚
    @Arvind : Thanks for the insights Arvind. πŸ™‚
    @Teky : I too think that atleast we would be quite open with our children and won’t repeat the mistakes of the previous generation. πŸ™‚ Thanks.

  18. Vijaya Bharat permalink
    June 7, 2008 2:23 am

    As per me most of the children wont have interesets which help them in their future. This statement belongs to majority of children as per me. Why I am telling this is most of children dont know what is good for them and will be in enjoying mood only. Obviously they wont come out of their comfort zone if they dont get challenges or in our term pressures. For example, just ask some people what they are interested in childhood and whether their interest is as it is now also. I think answers will be surprising (No cheating). Why I am so sure of my side is like you I also have an example from my life. In my childhood I never liked Maths but my father cicked me and forced me to get through Maths. Even I didnt showed my progress report in home as I got just 40’s in Maths where as I got 80’s in all other subjects. After that only I came to know how beautiful the subject is and how useful it is in life. If my father didnt force me at that time I might be scared of maths till now, who knows ?

  19. June 7, 2008 9:14 am

    One of the best posts on Youth Unite so far !!

    I don’t agree with Abha and Suda. What comes from the heart comes the best.

    I think the problem actually is that parents expect a lot from their children. This mentally tortures us and we end up in miserable conditions.

    Stop Expecting.

    Children feel sick if hey cannot full fill their parent’s expectations. This is worse than getting less marks/failing.

  20. June 7, 2008 9:20 am

    @ Vijaya : What you are saying is all the children get into peer pressure and do what the parents ask them to ?

    It is true that parents know what is good for their kids. But they can never make their children to like anything.

    You just can’t do Medicine or Engg just because your father asked you to. If you really dont like doing it and still fall for all the pressure, you would just be ruining your life and ultimately end up as a loser.

    But if you do what you really like (even if it doesn’t have much scope like the IT), you would lead a happy life and enjoy what your doing.

    P.S.: You = Generalisation.

  21. Vijaya Bharat permalink
    June 8, 2008 5:51 am

    @ Sudha : Me too dont like the mental pressure but are you sure about the independent choices taken by children will be helpful to them. Do you think they can think with that much maturity. As per me most of the children can not. Every child will be protected fully by parents and leaves full responsibility to his or her parents and want to enjoy life to full extent. Dont think I am rude , how many of your collegues or friends are really succeeded with their own choices and do you think others who are driven by their parents are not happy ? If we keep voting, I know that I will lose with big majority as everybody thinks that he or she was presurrised by their parents or will be in a better position. But I dont think its far from reality. As we are in a position to express our views, the topic is diverting like this. Ask reality to a person who lost because of not taking care by parents, we will get the real answer then. The topic leads to the piont to which majority are supporting but I dont think majority of people who are supporting this will act as per thier children wishes.

  22. June 8, 2008 9:35 am

    @Priya : Thanks. πŸ˜€
    //Children feel sick if hey cannot full fill their parent’s expectations. This is worse than getting less marks/failing.
    Very true & that is the time the children need their parents the most.
    @Vijaya Bharat : Bharat, the idea is to give your child a lot of options when he/she is growing up. Open a lot of possibilities for the child and see that which one of them excite the child the most. Once this is identified, push the child in that direction. Its as simple as that. Its not about what career the child must choose when he completes school but in what direction he was interested since childhood. And believe me, parents don’t need to be rocket scientists to find that out. πŸ™‚

  23. Vijaya Bharat permalink
    June 9, 2008 11:33 pm

    Hmmm. OK. The push u mentioned is nothing bur the pressure I feel. Once the child wants to become an engineer, he should get a rank as per his parents expectations right. What happens, if the child fails after spending a hefty amount on him by parents and not pressurising him to study well ? Except in your post, nobody mentioned about trying of children for their level best. When they are in process, everybody thinks that he/she is doing his/her level best and once the results comes, most feel that I might have prepared more and worth of more. This is where the pressure from parent comes into picture. They know this and they dont want thier children should not think like that after getting the results. I know many parents who tell their children “What you can do, u tried ur level best” after getting results which are not up to any one’s expectations.

  24. Sakhi permalink
    July 2, 2008 1:39 pm

    *Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. *

    That so true, but how many parents really think in this manner? 😦

    I know one girl who just completed her 12th std and got aggregate of 92%. Yet she missed a medical seat by a few marks. She was upset but i was shocked to see her fathers reaction, “she should have worked a bit harder!” he exclaimed!

    I mena how much can a child do, 92% isnt enough? she can get in so many good streams, but no… coz her father thought she should go into medical stream, she should!

    God help the children!

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