Man has always suffered from Xenophobia. Even the bravest cannot deny tiny little spurts of it at times. It is because man has always been afraid of uncertainty, which is a direct result of the unknown, be it people or places or things, anything that is unknown. How can one get rid of this, agreeing that it’s nearly impossible; at least some means to reduce the intensity?
The best way is to know the Unknown. As one gets close to it, familiarizes it, one becomes certain as to what it is, how it is, how it’ll react etc.
But how does one start? That is one the most crucial part. Many a people have starting trouble, where they need a person, to initiate, to push them forward, motivate them constantly, to take up something, to keep track of them. Not to mention if you are to pursue something unknown. I was reading this article about bravery back in the university, where it was stated that the wife of a very brave and famous British General had to pull the string of shower during winter morning, as he who had won many wars was afraid of pulling the shower string which would start an immediate gush of cold water. This is not Xenophobia; he knew what would be coming out of the shower.
Irrespective of the age, maturity and knowledge, a human being is as good as small baby, when it comes to things that are not known to him. The baby is introduced to this world and its aspects by its mother, father and others. Initially the baby is afraid or not comfortable with anyone other than its parents, but slowly, it starts going to others. But it has to be introduced to others by its mother. Later on the parents introduce it to the wonderful world of knowledge, a task taken over by teachers and friends later on.
Even the great Helen Keller was skeptical about everything till Anne Sullivan patiently took her through many things and introduced her to the world of literature. The point stressed is that the Initiator is the key for a beginner’s journey towards the infinite ocean of knowledge.
The attitude of the teacher/initiator is what ultimately leads or draws a kid towards knowledge and it even shapes the kid’s curiosity and experimental nature, not to say the outlook. If introduced with love and care and affection, the whole experience will be wonderful for the kid and he himself will go and seek it again, and there by delve into the depths of knowledge. But what if he is rebuked or beaten up in front of others or class for asking doubts by his parents or teacher? The kid will develop hatred towards the person, which might resolve in future, but the hatred towards the cause of the insult will remain the same or deepen. Many a times this has happened in Indian Schools. The teachers do not foresee the loss this country has by their action. We loose brilliant professionals in all the fields due to such actions. This hinders free thought.
Imagine when a mother as shown in the picture calls her son with love and care towards her, towards the ocean; it takes away the fear of the unknown ocean from the kid’s mind. This creates an interest in the kid’s mind also. Knowledge when sought for is to be disseminated, demystified carefully, and with love and devotion, otherwise the loss might be too huge that it can’t be compensated.