Like everyone else, during their teens, I used to be glued to MTV and Channel (V). After a point in time, my mom came up to me and said, "Are you going to be watching TV all your life or would you be doing anything constructive that you'll be on TV and that others may watch you?". Though at that time I would have sulked like any other kid that age (I don't remember if I did or not), I know that I would probably say the same to my kids. As for the Television, it has not been switched on in over 8 months at my place and has been reduced to a wall accessory.
Mom told me yesterday that whenever she thought she was going through tougher times, she used to study. And that was the best way to engage the mind in something constructive. Time and again would she give me this reminder of not wasting time unnecessarily on various things as tech advanced. Chatting or SMS. She would say what an awful waste of time SMS/Chat were, the time spent in typing some 20 lines a phrase at a time to convey an idea/thought is at least 10 times more than what we would take in just saying it including the response time from the listener, considering we are not talking of monologues.
In retrospect, I remember that most older members of my family used to keep studying for something or the other. My mom or mom's sibling. Some exam or the other.
And looks like the genes may have finally caught up with me, albeit late but as they say, Der se aaye par durust aaye.
I am perhaps embarking on similar exercises that I shall undertake, God willing, in studying one thing after another. And let me tell you, studying once you are an adult of reasonable mental capacities is a great experience. Especially when you are doing something just for the heck of it. There is no pressure. You don't have to take an exam. But studying or the collection of some knowledge is actually fun. A friend of mine happened to echo this same thought of mine and sent me a text late in the night "Did I say studying was FUN!!", to which I responded, I tweeted about it a few days ago :)
I'm not sure if I can hazard to make a fleeting statement like reading as a habit is going down or people are less willing to listen, less willing to learn, so on and so forth, but if I belong to this generation that has seen such a quantum changes in the world we see and the world we have grown up in and with, a generation that has enmasse been accused of ADD (attention deficit disorder) or to be kind, lets say short attention spans, I would also say perhaps in a generation that has perhaps seen it all, the beauty of values and ethics is perhaps getting more impressed upon us than it could have for the previous generations. We have seen disintegration of ethics and morals, judgmental attitudes (yes I realize the words before and after the comma is pretty relative, but then, one man's poison is another man's medicine), nothing seems to be sacred really and as much as I perceive or notice it, the wild children I know are shifting focus to what values our grandparents used to have. That said, I wish wisdom and ideas and practices and customs had been explained and passed on to us without shrouding it in cloaks of secrecy and in respect where questioning meant a display of disrespectful attitude and perhaps we have now become the generation where we learn everything for ourselves first hand, without the wealth of ancient wisdom backing us at times when we need it most, and then finally learning our lessons in hindsight.
To you, reading this blog, I'd urge you to study something, take an exam here and there, even if the exam was on, let's say, "How to ice flowers on cupcakes" (I'm sure there is a course on this somewhere, considering the cupcake boom) and if all that is too much, just read.
Learning and assimilating knowledge is fun.