I’m so happy living in today’s world…
Absolutely love it. As a writer, I’ve been through the type writer days. Then through all the computer phases starting from WordStar…. Then all its releases. I clearly remember the time when Microsoft was a fresh new word. I thought, ‘Oh God, another word processing program to learn???’ NOOOOOoooo! I had wanted to stay with WordStar. Then I was told, ‘you’ll have to because everyone is on to it now!’
My husband and I had the same desktop computer. One fine day I’d come to find it all changed. Totally. I’d be lost in another world and very furious. He had updated and upgraded the computer. So, then I’d have to learn a few more commands and new ways of getting to where I was last.
Since I had to send regular articles to Dawn or Woman’s Own magazine, it was all quite horrific for me. Usually, I was teaching, busy with my three kids, and air force social life. It was quite a challenge!
Though I found the upgrading frustrating, yet I couldn’t crib, Because I was getting it done automatically by hubby dear, later I’d find myself bragging to my friends :
‘ I have the latest program and am using it!’ So, it wasn’t so bad after all. When I became the computer teacher at PAF School in Masroor, Karachi, I worked on those Commodore computers with floppy disks.
Yes, I’m talking of a long ago time during the late eighties and nineties.
Isn’t it so much better now? Things are far easier, smoother and faster. So much more convenient. In fact, isn’t life much better now?
My mentor Abbas Husain and I often talk about it. He said,
‘Parents come to me feeling exasperated with their teenagers. Then they say,
’ I know everything, this child of mine knows nothing! I have experience. My child has none! How can he know what I do?’
Abbas Husain continued ‘How do I explain to him? The fact that we are standing in this timeline now – for instance, this is the 2018. If a parent has ‘experience’, then it would be of the late nineteen ninties or nineteen eighties. But then actually, it would be even earlier than that (Seventies and sixties?) ! If you were in college during the 1960, or 1970s or even the 1980s, then how can you relate to the current times? How can you say you have experience? Yes, you had experience living in the past times. The experiences that our children are having now, are all new to us. The world they are living in, is totally different to the one we lived in, when we were their age. We didn’t live in this fast paced, mobile, internet, and global virtual world. So, how can we say that we have experience? We don’t!‘
As teachers, we are preparing our children for a world that we ourselves haven’t seen. As the great Khalil Jibran says:
… they come from us, but they belong to another time and space.
We haven’t seen that world, but sure know where they are heading! In Pakistan, in institutions like GIK NUST and FAST, students are being taught subjects that are still not being used in Pakistan. So, they end up going abroad. Well, knowledge is for the universe and humanity and never goes waste. There was a time in the past when the West sought knowledge and power from the sub continent of Indo-Pak, earlier, they sought it in Spain’s universities and in Egypt during the golden era of the Muslim rulers in the middle east . Now, people from here are going Westwards. That is fine.
So, where was I?
I’m talking about the grown-ups talking about ‘how good it was in their times.’ ‘Hamaray zamay mein to har kaam bohot khoob hota tha. Aj kal ki tarha nahi!’ (with a scowl). The fact is nothing is perfect at any time. Nor is it now, and nor was it then. Yes, many things were done very well then. Many things are done even better now. So, it is up to us to remember the good times of past as well as to relish and appreciate what we have today.
The youth of today is awesome. (The one who aren’t will be awesome soon too. Provided we encourage them and stop criticizing them all the time.) We need to handle things and people with love and genuine regard. Only then will things work out for the best.
It isn’t about ‘I’m the best, and it is my way or the highway.’ It is about, ‘let us find out what is the best thing to do in these circumstances. Let’s do it together.’
What we grown ups have is experience in age-old values. Values like hard-work, honesty, integrity, loyalty and patriotism. We have the value of honoring our elders. To honor our elders and to respect each other. These are the experiences that we need to share with the youth.
As I write, a eureka event is taking place, it is also the principle in Management, to tell your emplyees what to do, and leave it to them as to how to do it. Usually, they know even better ways to do a thing in a shorter span of time.
Take computer experience for instance, these children are professional at it. They are amazing. Yet, if you take the handling of emergencies, we are amazing at it. So, we work together, let them be the ‘boss’ in one field, while you be the boss in yours. Similarly, we do have smarter financial handling concepts. But now, some of the youngsters are also picking up well.
Hey! It’s not a competition. It is team work. The elders and young people of society need to work as a team. Then together we all can have the time of our lives!
So, you see, how to do things, is a matter for them to figure out. Many of them are doing it better than us. They are more experts in the gadgets of today. Yes, I know, we have some amazing recipes to share with them, and lovely housekeeping ways.- Specially to manage the staff and all family members to promote love and harmony among the clan.
The greatest thing that has been going on throughout the ages is love and faith. Faith not only in Allah, but faith in the goodness that lies in all human beings – even the bad guys – they need our love even more.
So, why not all of us enjoy this ‘time of our lives’ together?
Why don’t we do things together, and teach each other. In the process, to earn each other’s respect? Let us keep that ‘open door’ policy in our homes – to have love, peace and harmony between the generations living under one roof.
How to enjoy our times:
- Listen to music, enjoy movies, learn about prominent personalities of all types and for all ages.
- Use the gizmos and gimmicks, before condemning everything and everyone.
- Find the goodness in people and things of today.
- Life has changed. For the better:
- We couldn’t keep an eye on our maids like now.
- We cannot contact them, as now.
- Seeing children who are abroad.
- Whatsapp, facetime, facebook, email, blogs, vlogs, instagram…use them and enjoy them!
Meanwhile just enjoy this video film made last week by a 25 year old photographer Waliya Najib Khan, (my daughter). She went to the border of Pakistan and China at the height of 15450 feet. (around 1600 feet.) It is the world’s highest border. Even oxygen is less there! Let us be proud of our younger generation and support them!
Note: All photographed by author except time-lapse photography by Waliya Najib Khan.