I have been speaking to youngsters about some aspects of life, in addition to academics. I am doing this with the sole intention of sharing my knowledge, experience and expertise gained over the years with children and young adults, which has always been my passion and interest. 

Youngsters seem to be interested in the topics I just opened up with them recently. It makes me more motivated to discuss with them their views about life which are as, or according to me more important than academics. I DO NOT intend to distract them from their studies. I only want to bring to their notice what I spoke to them about building relationships to last a lifetime, or being in a position to judge a person’s nature, intentions, especially about ‘friends’. I want to impress upon them that a youngster may have a number of friends, but a true friend (as elders would very well vouch) is he who would be willing and have the capacity and would constructively criticize the youngster’s thoughts, words or actions. I strongly believe that youngsters should learn to discern between a true friend and so called ‘friends’; and learn to cultivate, build and maintain a good relationship with true friends.

It is well known that when the infants grow, they learn about the basic virtues in life from their mothers, while on mothers’ laps, and at mothers’ feet. The father also plays his role in giving moral support and emotional security to the child and defends the child from external threats. Both parents are thus sources of support and encouragement to the child, at home. The values imbibed by the tiny tots at home are further reinforced at school, by their teachers and the Principal and non- teaching staff. School is a place where the children are safe and secured from the outside world. It is a cocoon. Children learn by example and standards set by parents at home and teachers at school. Although the influence of the environment is there, it may not be a predominant factor in the upbringing of the children, as most of the time is spent at home and at school.

Now, when children leave school, they are exposed to the ‘BIG BAD WORLD’ and have to take small decisions at college, tuition classes, canteens, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. on their own. And A LOT CAN HAPPEN OVER COFFEE!!! The youngsters are vulnerable; hence this is the right time for them to know about life and why and how life is different and much more important than career.

These things are generally not taught in most schools, colleges, IIMs, IIFT, FTII, IITs, COEP, Fergusson, Wadia, SP or Modern College. These things have to be learnt by the children themselves. Elders can only give them guidelines and caution them about the pitfalls. Also due to the generation gap, children would like to take decisions not recommended or suggested by parents (who are their best well wishers), elders in the family or counsellors. So, they learn through their own experiences. Hence, it is imperative and the need of the hour that children should be aware of aspects of life which will help them take right and prudent decisions with rationality and wisdom. This knowledge would help youngsters to handle and manage the Challenges in life, which are INEVITABLE. It would be up to the youngsters to tackle and overcome the problems in their career and life. Thus, to be DEFEATED, would be OPTIONAL. It is up to the youngsters whether they would like to be a VICTIM of Circumstances or emerge and be a VICTOR of Circumstances.

Furthermore, the crucial importance of Communication skills and Presentation skills and the vital significance of having mastery over the lingua franca i.e. English, the international language of the world, cannot be overemphasized, knowledge of which are essential to succeed in this era of globalization. These aspects again are not taught in schools and colleges, and my experience shows that several bright students from even very good colleges are not able to progress in their career only because of the lack of communication skills. On the other hand, academically very average students are able to go much ahead and become decision makers at a young age. In addition, mastery over at least one foreign language and learning about cross-cultural differences in other countries and within India too, are also a must, to really be on top in this advanced global village.

I thank you for sparing your time to read this article. I do not expect or wish for any monetary remuneration or thanks or gratitude from my target audience or from society; I would rather thank them for giving me opportunities to share my knowledge and expertise with the community of children and young adults.

Anup Y. Attavar
Connecting Indians
B.E. Mech. (COEP, Pune); P.G.D. – International Trade (IIFT, New Delhi)
Alumnus – Loyola High School, Pune (India)
Special Correspondent – Dwarka Parichay (Western India)
Independent Statement of Purpose (SOP) Counselor & Content Writer
Editor – ‘World Famous Indian Scientists’
Writer – Company Profiles, Speeches & Articles
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P.S. 1. I request readers to forward this article to their contacts, especially students and young professionals.

2. I appeal to the youth to offer feedback to my above email id. Free and frank feedback will go a long way in encouraging me to continue writing articles of benefit to the youth and also enable me view things from their perspective.