Regarding Michael Hoffman’s Aug. 5 article, “Heisei kids: a generation that struggles to dream“: I am 31 and have thought about this subject for a long time. Why are so many kids today, who have access to so many fancy gadgets, have so few or such hazy dreams? What inspires one to dream?
I think part of the answer lies in parenting and how much quality time children spend with their family. The values that are taught — whether to build real friendships or just settle for mail friends, whether to call someone up or just send an e-card or a text message — may lie in our education systems, too.
As the author mentioned, if you think you have everything, then there is an absence of desire. The Buddha was transformed this way. Can we still produce Little Buddhas in this age? As for our education systems, children are encouraged to pursue their own dreams right from childhood.
Few people seem to think about the drawbacks to this. A child hardly has any idea what he likes. They may be superficial likings at best. So, a strong education that encourages one to learn not only what one likes but also those subjects that one does not seem to like — through inspiration and rewards — till one is at least 18 could be a good way to teach a child values.
Rabindranath Tagore did not like his strict upbringing and being taught so many things that he didn’t like. Yet this made him into one of the finest writers in India.
Life is not just daydreaming and doing only what one likes. It is also about cleaning your own toilet even if you do not like doing it, and being grateful for living a life that half the world cannot even dream of. Dreams can also be about helping others find/fulfill their dreams.
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