Innovation is at the very heart of the existence of the life science company I work for. We have been encouraged not to kill any idea and to continuously think of solutions to problems that we face in our day-to-day life, to internalize and to live the essence of the concept ‘What if’. To be creative. To be imaginative.
This got me thinking, of an ideal world where peace and tranquility exists between parents and their children. A father reconciled to his son. A daughter connected with her mum. A world of possibilities where teens and their parents live in harmony and understanding. It got me thinking. Take a journey with me.
What if parents and their teenagers understood each other? Wouldn’t that be ideal? You see, both parents and teens state that this doesn’t happen. The parent, on one hand, longs for the teen to know their wish, their desire is in the child’s best interest. We push our teens because we know they are capable of doing so much, that they are no longer babies and are nearing adulthood, a life littered with responsibilities. That time is precious.
The teen, on the other hand, longs to be understood and appreciated. She desires that her parents would realize she is no longer a child, he desires to be trusted to make his own decisions without interference. They feel we are set in our ways and would not accommodate their views or opinions. They find us quite harsh. They find us quite impatient with them.
If only we could do life together in perfect harmony!
What if teens took the initiative to do activities that advance their lives positively? Picture this. A world where teens tackle the very same problems they face; drug abuse, sex, drinking, corruption, human rights, et cetera. Like the Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate back in 2014 at the age of 20 for her human rights advocacy towards education of women and girls.
Picture many teenagers like her, gifted and already doing transformational things in this world. They may not, and do not, need to win such accolades. No. But can you imagine where this world would be if these teens took such strides for a better tomorrow. It’s a picture, remember. But can you?
What if there were no gadgets? What would influence our children? You? Me? Us? This really is a huge problem that cuts across both parents and teens. They do notice just how much time we take on our gadgets. We have become impersonal and it seems easier to deal with the gadgets than with each other. I know, not all parents or teens use their gadgets in a bad way. But let me still ask.
If there were no gadgets, would we be more intentional with our relationships? Would we care for each other deeply and not be superficial? Would we look.out for each other and express our love in ways that make sense and not sending words like ‘xoxo’? Something should be done. Take some time and lock out the world. Block out those noises that come from the social platforms. Spend quality time with your children. Play board games. Talk. Show interest in what they do. Laugh. As in, do something!
What if I woke up on a Saturday morning and found my teen daughter had made breakfast, cleaned the kitchen and the house, folded clothes, emptied the dustbin, gone to the nearby market to buy groceries, checked up on her little brother, and was now studying? And that that would allow me to just rest and recuperate? That day, the following weekend, and so on? Yes, I would be flabbergasted! And in Utopia!
Wait. I do not mean that my daughter does not do any of those activities, no. You are still taking a journey with me, remember? But picture that for a moment. If she did all that, I would more than feel truly loved and cared for. I would be in heaven! But it would be up to us, to train our children to love others, to remind them that the world doesn’t always revolve around them. To instill in them a sense of caring for others.
We can be creative, we can be imaginative. We can always live that essence of the concept, ‘What if?’