JournalismPakistan.com November 16, 2014
What is more corrosive than scorn? A child comes home and says he wrote a short story and no one pays attention. No one wants to hear him read it out. There goes a potential writing career.
Another child says he scored half a century in his school match and dad squelches him by saying that will get you into college, you should be studying not playing games.
A young wife sings in public and the husband cringes with embarrassment. A teenager makes a canvas. It gathers dust in a corner of the house. A whole world of watchers ready to spoil the party even before it has begun for those who wanted to do something.
Maybe he wants to be a writer, a poet, a singer, a lyricist, a painter, a cartoonist, what is your problem. Maybe he won’t touch the stars but at least he is fortunate to be doing what he likes, not tugging a forelock at some dimwit boss in a 9 to 5 rut that he’d hate.
When you see that 90% of us are in jobs we never even considered you realize that being able to spend your working life is doing what you wanted to do is like winning a raffle ticket. You could be living in a loft writing music. Growing potatoes. Teaching poor children a language. Being a doctor instead of a captain of industry. A dancer instead of a doctor. A painter instead of a politician. A player instead of a powerbroker.
Maybe he will never be rich or famous or sign autographs, maybe she will never get published, but at least they tried. And isn’t that what it is all about.
Even adults do it. Friends dump on you. Siblings caution you about marching to your own drumbeat. Husbands and wives find virtue across the fence, dropping cold water on each other in a drench that is only unpleasant. Bosses sidetracking you so you are no longer a threat and you allow yourself to be sidetracked because there are bills to be paid and this bland, mediocre, custard of a professional fie at least ensures a pay packet.
You don’t get marks for trying and yet, that is all there is in life, to try, to strive and not to yield. Think of the amount of talent that gurgles down the drain because we do not encourage it in its infancy. It is so easy to put down something and say it is not good enough or I am not impressed but why hobble a child because you want to play it safe.
You didn’t have the guts to do anything so don’t moralize, let them find their own speed.
You ask me, grow potatoes if you want to… just make sure they are good potatoes because you didn’t spare any effort.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today andBahrain Tribune)
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