Thursday, 26 November 2015

Room for Creativity - VeduvoluKhusoh, Assistant professor, Department of English



People are most productive when they follow their dreams and do what they are interested in. In the US, it is a common for students to enroll for career guidance and counseling programs which assist them in making and implementing informed educational and occupational choices. In India, the scenario is different. Youngsters are steered towards careers by the expectations of their parents and by the trends in society. Students in Nagaland are expected to join the Science stream if they score well in Mathematics and Science in Class 10, even though they may be interested in Humanities. Many sit for UPSC, NPSC, and other competitive examinations without any actual zeal for those jobs. A country can truly progress only if everyone is able to give their best, but which may never happen if careers are mismatched and creativity is curbed.

Room for Creativity 

Just a few weeks back I attended a “World Children’s Day” celebration. One thing that really left me flabbergasted from this celebration was when the speaker asked the children seating in rows what they would like to become in the future. Majority of the boys cried in unison “Engineer!” and the girls shouted “IAS officer!” The speaker was quite awed with the response. He stressed on the importance of Government jobs and exhorted them to work hard to become engineers, doctors, NP officers etc.

I don’t completely disagree with the speaker. Of course we need to encourage children to achieve these professions as we need them for ensuring the peace and progress of our society. But on the other hand, it’s high time we stop instilling only these ideas into their young and formative mindset – that only those who join these professions are high-water marks of human achievement.

Living in this 21st century, having a degree is just not enough anymore. With the increase in population and the number of students graduating every year, we simply can’t drill our children to focus on combating only for government jobs in our society. There are noble things that we can pursue other than government jobs. What is more important is to inculcate in them a creative and critical mind to uncover and unleash the power of each individual gift. We need to focus on their talents. We need to sensitize and train their creative mind to come up with new ideas and solve everyday problems.

I have seen scores of people grudgingly appearing competitive exams year after year just to fulfill the desire of their parents and some of them actually failing miserably. They have passions of their own. They want to be entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, designers, farmers etc. but are too afraid to thwart their parent’s dream or they don’t get enough support from them since they deviate from their parents plans.

Picasso once said “All children are born artist. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up, we don’t grow into creativity but we grow out of it.” I heartily agree with this because we have creative talents of our own. Not everyone is born to become engineers or doctors. Parents should understand this. We are all here on this planet to play our part with God-given talents. But along the way we educate ourselves or talk our way out of it. What a tragedy!

Unemployment problem in Nagaland will curtail significantly if we start fostering creativity at a young age and continue to nurture it as they grow up, adding more creative activities in schools and colleges. We start by not only encouraging them to have a mind of their own and pursue their passions in life but also reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity.

With the increase in population and subsequent decline of natural resources coupled by the advancement in technology at a sky-scraping speed, we are at a stage where we need to treat education and creativity equally. We do have a role model in this context. Our very own ZhokhoiChuzho, who started from a very humble beginning of acting in Nagamese movies, has now made his name in Bollywood. If we allow our children to be who they are and support their dreams, they would find a way to live contentedly and magnificently.

Here’s a short story of Gillian Lynne- a choreographer. When she was at school she was really hopeless. The school in the 30’s wrote to her parents and said “we think Gillian has a problem”, she was fidgeting in the classroom and disturbing her classmates. Her mother took her to see a specialist. She was made to sit while her mother told the doctor how Gillian was having problems at school. At the end of it, the doctor asks if he could speak to her mother privately. The doctor turned the radio on which was on his desk. The minute they left the room she was on her feet moving to the music. They watched her for a few minutes and the doctor told Gillian’s mother that Gillian is not sick- she’s a dancer. Gillian was taken to dance class and eventually auditioned for the Royal Ballet School. She later founded her own company- The Gillian Lynne dance Company. She has been responsible for some of the most successful musical theater productions in history. She’s a multi-millionaire today.

What our children need is the right push and strongest support from their parents. Our only hope for the future of our next generation is to influence them with creative imagination and ideas so that they can face the future independently with innovative ideas and live a more meaningful life doing what they love.

“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email: admin@tetsocollege.org”

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