This is really not ‘heavy’ reading (if that is what you call it) – the last line has a mother asking for suggestions…..
Newspapers run stories of how ordinary people are making it big so early in life. Many are rags-to-riches stories. There are vivid details of the plush abode a billionaire stays in with no dearth of juicy details of his life. A national daily grows on all that and thrives, loving it all as readership increases by leaps and bounds, for the simple reason that we are all looking for quick ways of regular, inexpensive entertainment. With my morning cup of tea, what tastes better?
News of some illustrious personality falling from a height for having been victim to temptations or someone who has silently but diligently worked his way up the social ladder?News of innovations from college students or news of a star making a splash with a “great” movie? News of how the noble heart of a philanthropist is making a huge difference to the lives of underprivileged children? News of how someone with an illustrious career leaves it all to answer the inner call of bringing a positive change in lives of lesser mortals or news of some seasoned criminal being caught? News of advancements in medical field or news of cricket stars being hammered by other cricket stars? News of someone making it big by religiously greasing palms of people in power or news of someone who has made philanthropy a way of life? News of a handful of billionaires turning into richer billionaires or news of people dying of hunger in forgotten corners of the world? News of victory in a war or news of thousands of children orphaned because of the war? News of how research is gifting humanity with inventions that are about to save thousands of lives or news of celebrities breaking up or making up or suffering from minor ailments or on promotional trips for their upcoming films? How do I choose the news that matter, the real news, from such a mountain of happenings? How do I segregate the real heroes from the pile there?
With my ten-year-old son, a voracious reader all along, picking up the newspaper when it’s within reach, how do I drive home the point that the headlines of the newspapers are sometimes making heroes of the wrong people? That many real heroes are toiling far away from the madding crowd, that their ambition that drives them to relentlessly continue with their work stems from the will to do something worthwhile – either for some needy segment or for progress of the human race despite the not-so-significant pecuniary benefits sometimes and quite often being shunned by the media? It’s not enough that a family and extended family adore the real heroes.
Tweens and teens go a lot by what they watch on television and what people around and peers are excited about. Maybe we find it too far-fetched an idea or too difficult or too long-a-journey or too risky to inspire the children with feats of the real stars and how they gradually made it! Or is life too fast for one and all today to even think deeply about them and infuse into the children a strong will to aim to achieve even a fraction of what they have? A child of impressionable age, ready to absorb ideas and beliefs, with no filter to throw out the inappropriate news – how would he know or how do I tell him who are the real earth-movers-and-shakers even if they are never or rarely in the limelight?
How do I help him find the real heroes when many of the not-the-real-heroes are covered with adulation from many quarters? Looking forward to suggestions from you……..Else the likes of Dr. Kalam would only be too far away from us all…….
Also Read : Celebrities Have to Be Role Models for Kids