When we reminisce about our childhood, about our school days, we like to recollect good stuff. Enjoyable memories. Memories that can be cherished forever. However, I beg to differ!
My school life was pretty much the story of a girl, who just happened to be the daughter of a teacher who was teaching in the same school. My mother was known in the entirety of the school for her strictness and her prim and proper nature. I still am not aware of the reason as to why I was always expected to be accountable for the marks that I scored in my unit tests and annual examinations. I was expected to come in the creme of the class, always top, always respond to questions that were asked during the teaching hours.
Had that impacted the mental health of a girl who longed to go out and play with her friends but instead was restricted to studying 24*7?
Yes. It definitely did.
There was a time in school when I feared the concept of Mathematics. I never really liked that subject. I was definitely above average but at the same time, I was no Shakuntala Devi! (pun intended, as I am writing this article on the release date of the much-awaited biopic!) English came naturally to me. So did a part of Geography and History along with Economics and Biology.
However, goodness knows why I was always made to face the grind whenever and wherever mathematics was concerned. I was made to learn formulas (without understanding the concepts) as if my life depended on them. A shortfall in my marks in this subject was always remembered and talked about in my class, but a top-class score in the other subjects never really did the rounds! A universal truth, you say? I totally agree!
The mental health of a child is a very important issue in 2020. However, I am sure that the ’90’s kids will agree that such was not the case back in 2000. If you behaved uncannily, you were easily considered as “mentally unstable.” And we all know where that can land one.
I bounced back. I was fortunate enough to be blessed with a set of parents who really understood me. Despite the fact that the problems I was facing were because of her being a teacher (and a damn good one!) in the same school, my mother was a real pillar of support when I moping. She once told me a certain something and from then till now, I have carried that along with me wherever I go.
She had said, “Look my child, do not care about what others say. You do your duty. It will be much easier to do things and move forward in this race if you concentrate on looking ahead instead of turning back and waiting for people to catch up! No one is meant to suffer for such things. One day you will reach great heights and then we shall see where these restrictive minds lie! Never feel dejected, nor rejected. Remember, only you have the authority to feel so, only if you give them the liberty to hurt you, will they actually do that! Forgive them, my child, and move on. Be a better person!”
Today, I work in a top-notch pharmaceutical company, lead by one of the most successful woman entrepreneurs of our time. I studied what I loved, I mustered the courage to #speakup whenever required and I was brave.
To all the children and the other guilty conscious people out there, do not wait for them to change. Do not take to heart what they say. Forgive them. Make them learn. Be kind. Speak up, remember, there is always someone to hear you out. Be brave and the race will be all yours!