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L.Srikumar Pai
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Is it right that parents make all decisions for their children?

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It is but natural that parents are anxious about their children's future. But is it right that they make all decisions for their children? This has two disadvantages. First, it makes the child dependent on its parents, a habit that continues into adulthood. So when the man who, as a teenager, had all decisions made for him by his parents, has to make a crucial decision, he doesn't know how to do it. A life of dependence on his parents has spoilt him. We must not clip the wings of our children, by not letting them voice an opinion and by deciding the future for them, said Suki Sivam in a lecture.

Often, parents decide what career their children should take up. They do not bother to find out what the child's aptitude is. The child, angry that its ambitions have been thwarted, will not make a mark in the profession chosen for him by his parents. In the Mahabharata, Karna, although of royal lineage, grows up in the house of a charioteer. Karna's foster father tells him to practise how to drive a chariot, for then he too can find a job as charioteer in the palace. Karna says he has no wish to be a charioteer. He is destined for better things. He says he does not want to be the charioteer to a king. Instead, he wants to be a king himself, and maybe get a king to be his charioteer! Karna becomes a great warrior, and during the Kurukshetra war, a king does indeed drive Karna's chariot! Salya, of royal blood, was Karna's charioteer. Had Karna paid heed to his father and curbed his ambitions, would he have risen to great heights? So, sometimes it is the young who make the right decisions.

Netaji's father wanted him to become an ICS officer, for a career in the civil services was considered the most prestigious in those days. Netaji passed the examination, but soon after resigned his post. He told his father that he had taken the exam to please his father. But he now wanted to do what would make him (Netaji) happy. He wanted to fight for India's liberation. Had Netaji continued in the civil service, to please his father, would he be remembered today? He would be just one of many who passed the civil services exam.

Courtesy: The Hindu

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