Apr 20, 2012

Natively Speaking

It was a discussion on one of our community chat pages on FB.. How many of our kids speak our native language any more and where they don't, why not?

A simple enough question, the answer should have of course been, all our kids. It was indeed amazing to see the various responses from all walks of life and so many parents, both young and old, having a view.. What was indeed common among all was the similarity of thoughts the two generations had, of course, there was a blend of the old in the new, and v.v. but the overall thought process was similar.

The elder generation felt that our kids today don't and the new generation felt that it was a matter of choice. Of course, the visibility and the exposure that our children have today is far far more than what our parents had in their hey day, and to a large extent what the middle generation, we, have. Cultures too, can be blamed, the environment in which one grows up, of course plays a big role, however the root point was indeed, how many of the new kids speak our home language at home.

My personal experience has been mixed, with the new kids going the Western way taking a big lead, with many openly stating, I don't understand (and fully proudly supported by their parents). Kids today speak English a lot confidently than probably we or our parents did. Does it make sense as to what they speak, or is it grammatically correct, or does any one understand what they speak, is a secondary discussion. Point is, how many of us as parents force our kids to speak our home language at home.

It is an HS matter that our kids speak English and an LS if they speak native. Many of the new generation parents and their parents promote the kids to speak in English. It is a matter of discussion in many parties, a matter of pride, in a function that your four year old speaks and responds in English, leave aside that the entire function may be of your own community.

Surely, with the big wide world becoming more smaller with technological advances and the visibility of more cultures / TV programmes, cities being more multi-cultural than ever, generations growing up in unit families, inter community and relgion marriages, one would say this is an inevitable process. English is the language of the world, however it is indeed unfortunate that many cultures are losing their own identity, for the sake of a foreign one.

One still sees many communities, specially in India and in the Southern belt, for that matter, where people take pride in their language and speak in it at the first possible opportunity. Maybe that is what binds them all together, maybe that is why every South Indian is termed as a Madrasi, but I guess at some point, they would be the few communities left who still have their own language and more important, their identity.

Whether we decide to keep ours, is our choice and how we make our kids follow this, too is our decision.. I always tend to remember a quote, I read once and all the more to ensure that we keep our history, and our identity:

"No matter if English is the common language of the world, more people speak Chinese than English"

Apr 8, 2012


MBO - Google Images
Three alphabets, just the last one changes.. And it means a world of a difference. A difference between a person going out of his way to do some thing against a person going into a self induced trauma, unknowingly and subconsciously, that may scar him for life. Some of you may have already realized it.. If not, all about Management.. By Objectives, or by Example, or simply, by Fear

Surely, most of us go through it at various times during our work environment. We all have our times, when we are guided by our peers, either through defined objectives and goals, which the peers themselves believe in, and lead by example and living up to the objectives that all try to attain.. A common goal. The Manager or the leader takes the first step, clearly reiterating the common goal and objective, the vision, the road that we all must reach to. The team follows like lambs, the goal common, the vision clear.

MBF: Google Images

Come over to the other part of the world.. Fear, coercion, threats to get the work done. Peers simply ensuring that there are always threats looming over the team to get the work done. Irrespective of the fact that the work is being done, but the fear has to remain.

The threat and the fear of losing one's job is sufficient motivation to scare the living daylights out of a person to ensure that he / she performs to his maximum. Never takes a light moment. Always on the run, from the time one enters the office to the time one leaves.. Lunches are at supersonic speed, the 15 minutes spent could be better used to do some work.. A joke during a cup of tea is a luxury!! Of course the Manager gets all of it.

We all go through life in the same manner. We all have had or still have our shares. There are hundreds of instances daily where one sees various Managers following one example or the other.. Unfortunately, it is the MBF more often than the MBE (explaining why we never had another Gandhi or Martin Luther King or a Lincoln). And they thrive on it. And it succeeds, because, it is part of life, it is part of our psyche.

We live on the fear and our peers know it. We go through it in school with the bully, in college with the ragging, in life, not wanting to take that unknown step as to what would happen, if we challenged it. Many managers believe in it and continue this mode. Screaming, shouting, are simply mechanics to have the fear installed and kept, even if unwarranted.

How do we stop this, how does this reduce? Of course, not propagating picking up a base ball bat and having a swing at the crop of the hair, covering the head. That would be criminal, but one way would be to start at home. Why? Because in one way, it all starts there. How many of us, use the MBF with our kids to get them to do what we want? How many times have we dangled the sticks and bones theory. In some places it even applies to the wife or the wife to the husband? It is always the blame game.. If some thing goes wrong, you are responsible for it. Failure cannot be accepted, as it is a high stakes game. You have to be the winner and you cannot let your peer lose..

We start this as being kids studying in fear for that elusive grade.. We see it at work when we join, with the Managers instilling fear in us.. We learn this and take this to our subordinates, and at some point, we take it home with us and start this all over again. Life indeed comes a full circle. Where do we stop this, or can we stop this? I believe we can, and it all starts with Self Education.. Or the life we want our future generations to live.