Why we do what we do
Good things happen when we talk to each other.
Seeing our children grow up is fascinating. Their sense of wonderment when they learn something new makes us long for a time when we could do that as well. That is when we ask ourselves, what are we doing to make sure they’re getting the best possible experience and the tools to navigate the world we’re leaving them in.
I thought back to what it must have been like for our parents. My mom now lives half way across the world in India. I was talking to her the other day, and realised that this video call was free! Ofcourse, I’m paying for the data, paying in data and all that, but I’m old enough to remember a time when ISD phone booths were a common sight. People had to walk to the shop, register the phone number and wait until a connection was established. Then you paid by the minute, so conversations were generally brief.
Here I am, a decade later, merrily chatting away on video! As a species, we’ve reached the point where in theory, anyone can speak to anyone from anywhere at any time. We’ve grown from a species with populations isolated over vast distances to now when communication should be bringing us closer together.
And yet we’re drifting apart.
Never has there been a potential for so many different ideas and opinions to be accessible to such a large population. As our communications improved, we’ve seen these different ideas find voices and outcomes on a global scale. Naturally, the most dominant ideas have risen to the top and have resulted in us getting polarised on a lot of issues.
We’ve done some pretty horrific stuff as a species. Some terrible ideas in hindsight, now that we have the means to measure and keep track of outcomes. One pattern that we see is that a lot of the problems could be solved if we sat down and spoke, and not seen people that are different as Others. Humanizing anything makes it real, and this is possible when people can relate.
Stereotypes can break, opinions can change and egos can be healed, when we just sit down and talk it out.
This is a vital tool that we will need to give our children. The one easy step we can take, as a part of our plan to leave a better world for them. Getting them used to meeting kids from different backgrounds, people you normally wouldn’t have met, is the key to build new relationships and connections in our offline world as well.
But hey, it’s not as easy as it sounds. A lot of us are getting by, working hard figuring out our own lives. Not all of us have the time and resources to actively look for these experiences.
That is what drives us at the Parent Network. The strong belief that we owe it to our kids to do everything we can to get them to relate to others. Good things happen when we talk to each other. And that is why we run language clubs, penpal and lego clubs. So we can help kids understand each others culture and understand each other more so we are willing to talk.