Sunday, December 15, 2013

Growing up by Yourself


Often we, the humans, feel that we created the social order, after all, we are the the most intelligent beings in the animal kingdom. I say, Ha, to that.

One wonders who taught ants to walk in line? Who taught honey bees to make a perfect honey comb? Who taught birds to migrate? It is the older generation- the parents, the grandparents, the elders and the adults who teach the younger ones. Children will copy what they see. 

Recently, I read about a herd of young elephants that lost all its elders a couple of decades ago due to culling. Their decision making ability remains impaired due to the disruption in their social order. The social abilities of the young elephants is severely compromised, they fail to differentiate between a friend and a foe.

Human order is no different. We observe disruption in the lives of children either raised by one parent or worse, after the loss of both the parents.


Growing up by Yourself

Bhaiya = brother
ears perked up = listened more

Six-year-old Suchi and Soori played with their dolls.

Suchi said, "Let's make this doll an orphan."

Soori asked, "Why?"

"So she can do what she wants, eat what she wants and go to sleep when she wants."

Soori smiled, "Yeah, she is free to do whatever she likes."

Their older sibling, ten-year-old, Sapna's ears perked up when she heard the conversation. She ran to their big brother, fourteen-year-old, Sagar. "Bhaiya, the twins are talking about making one of their dolls an orphan. I don't like it."

The brother-sister came to the room where the twins were playing.

Sagar asked, "Hey, daring-duo, what's up?"

Suchi said, "Nothing Bhaiya, we are playing dolls."

Sagar picked up a doll that was sitting by herself in a corner, "And why is this doll sitting in time-out?"

"She is not. She is just thinking how to mess up the other dolls' play."

"Why does she want to mess up someone's game?"

"Because she is an orphan and gets to do her own thing."

Sapna said, "That does not sound very nice, maybe she too wants to play."

"Maybe, but she does not behave and---"

The second twin finished the first one's sentence, "And she always interrupts and messes up. That's how an orphan is."

Sagar said, "And girls, what is an orphan?"

The twins said, "A kid who does his own thing."

Sapna asked, "Have you ever seen an orphan?"

"Yeah, this new boy in our class is an orphan and he's always interrupting the teacher and messes up our work."

Sagar asked, "And do you like that?"


Sapna asked, "What if everyone was an orphan in the class?"

The twins smiled at each other, "Our teacher would run away."

The other twin added, "And that would be so much fun."

Sapna asked, "Think again, you two, who'll teach you in the class without a teacher?"

The twins exchanged glances and shrugged.

Sagar asked, "How does that idea sound to you?"

The twins said together, "Not good at all."

Sagar said, "Yeah, not good at all. An orphan is a child who does not have any parent."

Suchi said, "Why would they leave him?"

"I do not know what happened to the little boy's parents."

Soori said, "Didn't they love him?"

Sagar asked the twins, "I don't know. But think, if no one told you bed-time stories or took you to a zoo or played with you, how happy would you feel?"

"We'd be miserable."

Sapna said, "Girls, do you disrupt your class?"

"No--- because we know better."

Sagar continued, "That's exactly the point. The orphan boy doesn't know any better, doesn't know how to behave and so he messes up other children's play."

"No one told him how to behave."

Suchi said, "Soori, let's get this orphan doll back in the play, the other dolls can teach her how to be nice."

Soori brought the doll from time-out back into the play and they played with all the dolls until their parents came home.

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