“If you buy things you don’t need, soon you will have to sell things you need.” – Warren Buffet
Every weekend on a trip to grocery stores starting with names like Mega, Hyper, Metro or Big market of the city, I couldn’t help but observe one thing consistently at the billing counter. A child dragging a set of parents, howling incessantly, or throwing fits in anger on the floor, unwilling to let go off that toy she picked up from somewhere.
Poor parents shying away from the public spot of shame wants to escape immediately. However, a couple of pursed lips or raised eyebrows keep staring at parents. So they bow down by loading the ‘picked up unwanted thing’ in the cart or get away with a quick fix bribery of chocolate bar or soft toy, strategically placed on purpose at exit points – peace at both ends.
I am sure you too will witness this on your next visit. However, this doesn’t address the real issue of the unending desire of urban children to collect things because their parents can afford it without ever asking “do I need this” or having a look at the price tag. With more double income families, higher disposable income, peer pressure at school the difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’ is diminishing.
It’s not that all parents are happy inculcating such values in their kids, but lack of time equates to mute submission. At the same time, children are continuously losing the ‘value of money’. Thinking aloud, what can be the solution? On my recent visit, to an integrated residential school where children with special needs and those who belong to rural lower socio economic status study together, the idea of volunteering came to my mind.
How about letting our-well-to-do-family-children go and spend an entire day at the integrated school? How about letting your child spend a day with special needs children and observe them putting in their best efforts to study, building on their abilities. See how they socialize with real group plays, share food, share toys and rooms without using expensive gadgets or being the sole owner of an imported learning material.
Let them see how their dorms become their classroom during day light. At dawn they fold their blankets and stack them next to the blackboard. Let your children observe how some of the orphans kids don’t even have a home to visit during summer vacations, forget about going to exotic locales overseas. How their wishes comes true only once a year, the time their results are out and they pass with flying colors.