What I would like to tell my kids
Blog :Life and Times in Bangalore
Date: 6/9/2012 1:56:09 PM
at their school completion is in this speech. Not the US specific numbers (though I would be thrilled if my kids knew the ‘spark of Zeus’ reference) but everything else. Especially the parts about how being selfless is the best thing you can do for yourself, how everyone is special so that medal/prize/certificate/admission does not make you superior to any one else, that because everyone is special….no one really is, that you need to read and read some more, that no one will help you find your passion – you need to go out, find it and then hold on to it with everything you have….just an awesome address that is being mostly feted but also lambasted as a rant. You take your own call – is this unjustified?
Commencement speech at Wellesley High School
This is as relevant in a nouveau riche Bangalore as in an elite Boston area school, with entitlement really having few borders. All one needs to do is switch on their 42 inch TV to see a child in Maharashtra so emaciated from malnutrition to have almost lost resemblance to a human being. And yet whether we buy the latest gadget or how little our children (with so much!) really get is all we think of. It is a lesson to parents to let their kids fall and break a few bones. It would be a service of selfless parenting.
I am going to try harder to let the children deal with the consequences of their actions. No amount of verbal instruction equals one fall and its results.
The other speech that I plan on taking very seriously is the one by Joe Kraus on Slow Tech. He talks of how multi-tasking is really not good for us, that we get worse at longer range thinking and focus from multi-tasking, the one thing we get worse at when we do often. I can see how this relates to me. When I am doing so many things is when I forget the most, when I spin my wheels, when I feel dissatisfied with my day. I don’t have to worry about a smartphone…went low tech and love it. My current phone can browse but I don’t. Haven’t texted much ever, so cutting out the little I do text isn’t tough.
We do always have some tech on all the time between the computer, iPod and Kindle. I don’t think switching off the music is required – we have therapeutic music on these days (also multi-tasking in a way but we won’t be able to give the kind of time required for brain re-wiring that the music can do for us on even the slowest, least scheduled out day otherwise) and it does make our worlds go better. The other stuff I need to get more disciplined on. Technology is addictive and even the slowest, most behind the curve thinking is not immune from that.
The point that hit home the most is not related to technology alone – he says, “We do badly with it and yet we give it to our kids, expecting them to deal with it better than we do!” or something to that effect. I do expect my son to be more focused but answer his question when I am on the phone or reading on the comp with barely registered thought.
Last weekend, the kids’ friends had come over and one of them was experimenting on me…I was on the comp near them, they were playing and just calling my name and I kept going, “Hmm….yeah….” and she goes to daughter, “See, I told you, my mother does this too!”
Time to get more into the now and more out of multi-tasking. If it is too much multi-tasking, I now know to cut things out, not run harder. Harder but always very much in one place!
Have a wonderful Sunday….I shall be trying to cut out all computer time tomorrow. It will be hard.