The mother looked consternated. Her eyes were shifting around vacuously. She deftly glanced at me, uncertain whether she had come to the right place. Her 12 year old son kept staring at the floor. He seemed lost in a world of his own.
I tried the familiar techniques of rapport building but he refused to meet my eye.
“He has no friends. He doesn’t talk to anyone. He refuses to socialize. My husband and I motivate him but….”
“How do you motivate him ?”, I queried
“We tell him to do many things, we put him in many classes but he does not stick to anything.He is not interested in IIT, NEET….”, the mother said.
“But why do you want to put him through an IIT coaching?” I quizzed.
Her eyes widened at my nonsensical question, “what else do you expect us to do? He is a boy. What would people say?”
“WHAT WOULD PEOPLE SAY?”
Is our single purpose of existence to look ADMIRABLE in the eyes of ‘people’.
“You know, my son goes to FIIT-JEE. We paid 5 lakhs. You see, we consider education very important.”
Wow! how gratifying these words would be to the ego. I knew the boy needed help. He had cut him off from the external world.
‘This kid urgently needed hugs, tons of kisses, million hours of cuddling. It was in pain. The child had to be healed. It had to REALIZE that there is a BEAUTIFUL WORLD waiting outside.’
“Shiv, you have to counsel him”, she said.
‘Counsel him’ the two words I dreaded the most. Would sitting and talking to a lost kid make all the difference? What in the heck could a counselor do?
There are millions of brilliant kids who are lost. They look vacuously into space. Unfortunately, India neither has the data nor the solution.
Georges Carver, the inventor of peanut butter urged the country folks in Alabama to grow peanuts. He believed that the Nitrogen fixation ability of peanuts would enrich the soil to cultivate other crops in a dry place.
One day, a lady came to his door step with 20 carts of peanuts.
“You asked me to grow these crops, now what do I do with them,” so saying she spat on his face.
Carver asked God, “Why did you create people of such ingratitude?”
God replied – wrong question.
Carver asked God, “Why do you create peanuts?”
God replied – that’s the right question.
The peanut revolution was born, which led to peanut butter, dyes, paints, varnishes and hundreds of other products.
I asked God,”why are children and parents so drained and unhappy?”
God said – wrong question.
I now ask, “God, what could I do to make children and families happy?”
God smiles, he is pondering as I wait for his answer.