Two and a half decades back, girls were happy that they were ‘allowed’ to finish their degrees. Boys usually took up careers like engineering or medicine or commerce. Home science, English, Nutrition, Nursing etc were careers that were ‘deemed suitable’ for girls. Boys took up the first job that they landed and worked their way up the ladder slowly. Most of them stayed with their families and lived in the city that they were born. Girls got married and a few amongst them considered themselves lucky if they were ‘allowed’ to work after they got married.

We look back on such real life scenarios with amusement now. Dear youngsters reading this article, go sit for a while with your now mothers and ask them how they coped with all the bitterness and frustration of not being able to put their sound education to good use. You will see a smile of serenity on their faces because they have made peace with the choices? and the compromises that they were forced to make. They channelized their knowledge and skills in other directions at the right time. They learned patience along the way. They valued interpersonal family bonds. They passed on their knowledge to their children by focusing on their academics. They did not want their children to make the same kind of compromises that they were forced to make and so they gave them full-fledged freedom to explore the vast expanse of their dreams and ambitions. They could choose the line that they were interested in and the parents willingly sponsored and funded their higher education.

Dear youngster reading this article – value and cherish this gift of education that your parents are blessing you with. Don’t dismiss their sacrifices and compromises as trivialities and take them for granted. More importantly, don’t ever assume that monetary comfort can replace the frustration experienced by circumstances that were beyond their control. Respect what your parents are blessing you with instead of rolling your eyes at them when they are unable to understand the choices that you seem to be making.

Explain things to them patiently. They are not fools. Most of them know the difference between which career really work for you as their child in the long run.

Dear youngsters reading this article – I too had a small cynical smile on my face a fortnight back when I read a column in the Sunday supplement. A youngster like you was wondering whether he should quit his job because he did not really enjoy the work that he was doing. Perhaps the pay was a little low – I don’t exactly recollect now.

And I wondered! J !

Are careers and jobs and higher study options like mangoes hanging on trees?

Can we really pick and choose a career of our choice?

Even mangoes grow only in summer don’t they?

And all mangoes are sour before they turn sweet – and this happens slowly!

Do we all get to fulfill all our dreams in our lives?

If we have such high expectations from life itself, aren’t we going to be extremely frustrated when our dreams don’t turn into a material reality?

Does a better paying job mean more internal happiness?

Is it that easy to land a better paying job in the first place?

Why are you sticking on to a job that you don’t like?

Because you need a good couple of years of experience before people consider you for a higher paying job.

Yes, we all know that competition is stiff. A double degree has become a norm rather than an option now.

But we would be glad if all the dear youngsters reading this article think about their zeal and passion while selecting a career path. Single minded focus is all very well dear youngsters reading this article – let it not come at the expense of your parents’ happiness.

Take calculated risks and listen to their sage advice before you map your future. Let your future not deprive them of their present! Ponder!

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  1. June 10, 2016

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