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Shaping Our Future: The Role Of The Family And Society

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          As research suggests, more than 300 million people around the world now suffer from depression, and the number of children, youth and millennials suffering from this is significant. But as strange as it may seem, children and youth who receive their basic needs are contributing the most to this number. Of the many factors behind depression, society’s obdurate attitude towards a youth’s choice in career is one, though we are the least concerned about that.

Every child is born with immense potential and innumerable possibilities. As he or she grows up, genetics as well as nurturing play a vital role in this process. But as a human being, every youth creates his or her own world apart from all those family teachings and school lessons.

As we grow, we develop our own sense of ethics, moral values and mannerisms. We learn to distinguish between right and wrong, what kind of interests we have, and develop a sense of purpose in life in our own way.

This is quite a natural phenomenon. Obviously, family as well as other elements of society take part in the process; however, problems arise when we are forced to abide by certain beliefs and expectations in life. Parents and society’s expectations should never be the deciding factor in the path a child takes when he or she is ready to pursue his or her own life goals.

It is quite illogical as well as immoral to force a child to make a certain career choice. The problem is more blatant in the under-developed and developing countries. It is a common scenario that parents make their children take science/mathematics/humanities courses without taking the child’s own choices into consideration. And when they fail to demonstrate their adeptness and proficiency in those fields, these children get admonished and eventually they find themselves drowning in abysmal despair.

Statistics don’t always tell the truth! Despite being provided with all their basic needs, these children suffer from the anxiety and stress of meeting expectations and being forced to take paths in life that are not their own.

Parents should never force their own path and expectations on their children, they should consider supporting them with their own interests and endeavours. When one can work with whatever he or she likes, and nurture their passions, it becomes possible to make meaningful contributions to society in our own way.

In his famous book “The Prophet” (one of my all time favourite reads),  Kahlil Gibran writes, “they are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.”

This delineates the actual responsibilities of parents and society’s expectations towards children, and it is sage advice for those who attempt to control a child’s future.

All should show their sincere-most attitude for the nourishment and total betterment of each and every child around them. For a better world, we should all work harder to ensure basic human rights for all children as well as the ability to let them nurture and grow in their own way. Hence, we will be able to keep accelerating the growth and prosperity of human civilization.

Festus Oppong Kwabena Asante (FOKA)

The author Festus Oppong Kwabena Asante (FOKA)

Festus Oppong Kwabena Asante is an avid reader, kopite, journalist and sports writer. He is an art and poetry lover, whose favorite pastime is to watch his beloved REDS conquer all of England, Europe and the World.

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