by Shefali Parikh
I look at the numerous young faces sitting in the audience today and wonder what their dreams are? What are they passions? What drives them?
It’s an interesting question. Can we answer those questions ourselves?
Looking at the world children are brought up in today makes me honestly quite upset. School is no longer a journey of discovering your passion, it an endless stream of examinations. Post school the pond grows into a sea, now it’s an endless fight for ranks in state level and national level examinations. Do children now ever get an opportunity to halt, to pause, to ask themselves why? Doctor kyu ban raha hain? Marks acche aye is liye. Engineer kyu ban raha hain? Papa ne bola tha engineer banke IIT jaana beta. MBA kyu kar raha hain? Papa ka business sambhalna hain.
Our educational institutes are factories, and students are but machines. They few who survive this slaughter and have the strength to experience life and grab opportunities grow on to be world leaders, those who can survive against the toughest odds. The rest die silent deaths, without even knowing it. This is not fair.
I admit, the ridiculous competition faced by the young ones today is mind boggling. But it’s time that parents and society stops trying to live vicariously through their children. It’s time the youth find their own voice and education its true purpose.
Life is an incredible plexus of interconnected experiences, elegant and meaningful. Only if you care to look.. “Whether you go into research, business, law, medicine, public service or education, neither you nor society can continue to survive or prosper simply by implementing what is already known. Somebody is going to have to come up with meaningful new ideas, creative new approaches and important new discoveries. Why can’t that “somebody” be you?” Yvonne Thorton. But trust me, you’re not going to do it if your life is spent doing things to just get by, to just pay the bills or please other people. And you’ll never discover what you really want to do, that one thing you are really good at (maybe many things) until you venture out of your comfort zone.
Steve Jobs once famously said, stay hungry, stay foolish so Go do something ridiculous. Try something you never have before. Find something that excites you. Look for meaning.
Throw a curveball into the darkness. You’ll be surprised at what she throws back.
Shefali stood first in Maharashtra state in the MBBS exams in 2013. She is the daughter of Bahula and Pradeep Parikh. She presented this speech at the Rising Stars 2013 function .
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