We get offended at the slightest of things, put ourselves in endless struggles to bring about social reforms and still don’t end up anywhere. This generation has been fighting too many wars at once – the gender one being the most dominant. And that’s probably because we have all the wrong notions about gender equality, culture, traditions and more importantly, their importance in our lives. It is high time we start teaching our sons and daughters things that will help them build a society that is more tolerant and accepting.
1. Everybody is different – some people are tall, some short; some like people from the other sex, some from the same one. It is as simple as that. There is nothing special about any of them, and there’s nothing wrong with either. Being homosexual is as normal as being straight. You don’t need to be proud of it. Neither should you feel ashamed of it.
2. We need to teach our daughters to never feel inadequate or any less powerful than our sons. Girls and boys are equal and won’t be treated any differently. Don’t think you’re inferior, but don’t demand extra care, attention and leverage either. We need to teach them never to allow the world to be unfair to them because they’re women. And more than that, we need to prepare them that life won’t be easier for them just because they’re women. We need to stop encouraging them from playing the ‘woman card’ for no reason.
3. We need to stop telling our sons to ‘not hit her because she is a girl’. Teach them not to hit anyone because violence is cruel, not because it is a girl in question. That is gender equality. We need to stop indirectly telling them that girls are weaker and that they need a man’s protection and even worse, mercy to survive.
4. It doesn’t matter how big or small a job is. If there’s passion, the choice is always right. We need to free the next generation of all societal pressures of what is an ideal job and what is not. It will make them respect and accept every profession. It will also encourage them to do what really makes them happy.
5. Nobody can deny the importance of culture, traditions and religion. It is, in fact, important to acquaint your child to his/her roots. But, we also need to tell them that no religion is worth following if it spoils peace between two people. Your religion and culture is your own and should not be forced upon others.
6. Talking of religion, we also need to teach them that no religion is above another. You don’t need to be a follower of every religion to respect them. Never look down upon any other person’s religious beliefs or traditions.
7. Love with all your heart but know that you need to give the other person his/her own freedom for that love to prosper peacefully. Don’t try to control the ones you love. You’ll end up losing them. And this is something we need to understand ourselves, before we teach it to our kids.
8. Your grades are never going to define the person you turn out to be. Your marks don’t matter. But having said that, there’s no replacement for hard work either.
9. Be comfortable in your own skin. Don’t let anyone else belittle you because you’re too tall or too thin or too short or too dark. You were not born to please them anyway. You are much more than your outer appearance. Don’t let it affect you so deeply that you grow up into an insecure person who needs to seek everybody’s approval.
10. Love yourself the way you are but also learn to accept people the way they are. Respect the fact that others will have different opinions and that doesn’t make them wrong.