Sunday, March 05, 2006

Opportunity Lost

It always is a safe route to advise others - and keep advising others. It gets better if one could find the position that authorises one to dole out advices. The best is when one is awarded with the authority to advise by Mother Nature herself; or so is one tempted to believe as one's hair turns grey and the head, bald.
By no means am I to demean the elders. With all due respect to the leaders in my life, I salute the elders who are responsible for what I am this day. They showed me the way; they pointed out the flaws in my making; they stopped me when I was supposed to; they chided me when I lazed about. Courtesy, respect, sacrifice . . . and all of those virtues were introduced to me by elders in my life - as would be the case with most, I guess.
So, my objection is not towards elders; I have no antagonism against advises either. I admire and have tried to emulate some of the great aspects that I have fould in different people. I have always felt inspired in their presence.
But, is too much emphasis being placed on the responsibility of youngsters, too much cynicism being showered on the their attitudes while the lack of action on the part of elders is being condoned, conveniently? If we choose to generalise a generation or two that preceded mine, how well have they fared in showing the youth, the right path to travel?
I happened to travel by train a few days ago. There was a group of men returning home from the day's work. Talks were on of their impending retirement, their son's marriage, the house that was being built, of office politics and some of local politics. It was more than an hour of commuting; and I could make out that they were a regular gang that used to make their ways to their offices and back home on the same route. I had no idea where they worked - but somehow, their lethargic attitudes made me think they were government employees.
How many of such gangs move about the various cities of India? How many man hours would have been spent on such or worse idle talks? Is anything constructive at all being discussed by these responsible gentlemen/ women? As the saying goes, "A lot could happen over coffee" . . . a lot more could happen when experienced heads put their thinking caps on and spare a thought or two about our Nation and what could be done about the state of affairs!
Of course, elderly travellers always make it a point to rue over the irresponsible behaviour of students when they commute to their schools/ colleges. Aren't the behaviour of the elders irresponsible as well? Responsibility is relative and not absolute.
As it so happened, just as I walked past the group of old men to alight at my destination, I could see what a mess that they had made of the wagon with the fruits and nuts that they had consumed in the course of their missions. No wonder some youngsters feel lost; and 'Legacy' is not an accident - it is intentional!

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