The Age of Innocence

When I look at the picture, what strikes my mind immediately, is the beautiful innocence of the baby and her passion for experimenting with new things. I find it similar to the adventurous attitude of today's young generation to try anything new that catches their fancy.

A baby is calm and well protected inside the darkness and warmth of her mother's womb. When she is born, she is suddenly exposed to the light, the sound and the wind. Everything she looks at are new to her. The various sounds are exciting. She has a great temptation to touch and feel colorful things and find what it tastes like. She explores the world with her tiny hands.

She is awed by the elders and tries to imitate them. She does not know what is right and what is wrong. She does not know what is safe and what is dangerous. She learns only through experience, which may be bitter sometimes. She is fascinated by the exciting new world around her. She does not know touching a hot object will scorch her or pulling a heavy object will fall and hurt her. She goes on exploring and experimenting and alternately being shocked and surprised and sometimes scared and hurt by the consequences. She needs someone to guide her and guard her.

Similarly the adolescents and teenagers of today are exposed to an exciting world full of colorful temptations. The TV gives them both necessary and unnecessary knowledge. The internet provides the answers for the forbidden questions. So they know both what they need to know and what they need not know. They have too much on their plates. The ways and means of getting spoiled are too high.

The western culture of fast food restaurants and fashion shows have become popular among Indian youngsters. Smoking and drinking have become a part of their lifestyle. The dating culture and premarital sex have become a common topic of discussion and becoming increasingly accepted in many families.

The baby in the picture is wearing the glasses of an elder person. It does not suit her, but it will also not hurt her. And it will satisfy her inquisitive mind. So we can watch and laugh at her little pranks. At the same time we would never allow her to play with fire or on the edge of a staircase.

We should draw a fine line between what is accepted and what is prohibited. It should be done in such a way that she is protected and also her passion for experimenting is not crushed. In the same way we should let the teenagers know what is good and accepted and what is bad and prohibited. Anyway we should enjoy their youthful enthusiasm and sometimes let them learn lessons the hard way.


More by :  Janaki Janar

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