Freedom and Peace - Roopa Bhattacharyya

Few lucky people achieve their dreams. However, multiple factors have to fall into place to achieve your dreams. What may or may not be possible for any person is a combination of the socio-economic realities of the family, the world view of the parents and the extended family as the peer group of not only the child but also the family. So, freedom to dream is limited by what the child knows, reads, hears and realizes based on the juxtaposition of the society in which he or she is growing up.

1. For instance, in my case, I wanted to learn Sitar when I was in grade 6. However, my parents could not afford to buy a Sitar. So, they sent me to singing classes instead.
2. I never had the opportunity to travel or see places independently, as my peer group never did. Though we did travel as a family to visit places on vacations. Children nowadays have multiple opportunities.
3. I wanted to have a career after education, but I married someone with a transferable job. And I became a school teacher.
Though, now, I am delighted. The realities today are different. However, that, too, is dependent on the economic conditions of the individuals.

Violence stems from anger. However, it also stems from the conditioning of the mind. Anger essentially originates from the inability to handle the realities. But, training the mind to hold certain beliefs is an outcome of what the child is taught at home and in schools.

Some individuals are taught from childhood about their inherent superiority over others who do not subscribe to their belief system. This is a significant cause of violence that we see around us. So, to solve the problem of violence, we would need a two-pronged approach.

Firstly, wean our children away from dogma, religion, and racial ideologies. Ideally, these should find no place in educational institutes or society. As far as anger management is concerned, this could be addressed in the classrooms through exposure to practices like meditation that help you achieve mastery over your mind.

Roopa Bhattacharyya
Ahlcon Public School

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