It is time we make the necessary alterations to our approach towards work and life!
India is known as the country that has the largest number of younger generation, some even call us the youngest country. Unfortunately, we are also the country with highest suicide rate. According to the available data, at least one student commits suicide in our country every hour. Can you even imagine how alarming this is?
But, why is it happening? There isn’t a precise answer for that. Some would say that those who commit suicide are weak people and thus, they take such drastic steps. But again the question is, what is making them so weak?
Pressure is the answer. It is the pressure to study hard and score high that makes students so insecure that they make such weak decisions. Why do parents not understand that scoring is not everything. Why are we failing to give our kids an environment where they feel comfortable to speak to their parents about the emotions they experience or the turmoil that they go through?
The suicide rate among people aged between 26- 29 is equally alarming. This is the age where most of us finish studies and start working towards making a good and bankable career. It is essentially the time where the youth is vague about the career direction they want to take, it is also the time when we try to explore more, when we experiment the most and we basically start our journey to discover ourselves. But some experiences leave us shattered and discouraged to the core.
I recently was called for the second round of interviews at a reputed company. I called them reputed because they are known for what they do in their industry however, they are yet to acquire a status that all these start-ups yearn and I hope they never earn that status because they will be pushing some more young and vulnerable minds to depression. Wondering how?
I am an individual with a significant national and international experience and exposure. Upon reaching there, I was told that the employees of that company work seven days a week till July every year. I was shocked. This company has been in the business for about a decade and has offices abroad and the team is mostly young. The office where they met me was the only office they have in Delhi and it is literally the size of my bathroom and they could hardly fix four chairs there. I am not saying that no one will work there. I am sure soon they will have the candidate who will be under enough pressure to say yes to more pressure and a life of a donkey in that cubicle they call office. But, this is just one of the experiences we job seekers go through.
I have heard stories where big names have set-up their offices in our country and they are still running the business with a feudal mentality. There are companies where in case colleagues are found talking, one of the team members will walk up to them and click their picture to do the naming and shaming in the work chat group. And then there are firms where one of your colleagues is actually the spy set-up by the organisation to give them all the news about your behaviour and conduct. How many people you talk to, what kind of language you use, in case you make too many phone calls or if you are accessing your personal email and so and so forth.
Basically pressure from multiple corners. First you take pressure to score, then to nail the interview and then to sustain in the job and if all this doesn’t kill you, you get the pressure from parents. Why are you working there, you can find a better job. Why do you work so late? We also need your time. You are already 28, why are you not getting married? Sharma Ji’s 25 year old son has a son already.
The things that have become a norm are not going to change but what can be changed is our response to the situations we face. It is imperative for teenagers and the youth to understand that giving up is not even the last option.
Many of us accept an unwanted job because we are under pressure. We are scared that we might not get another opportunity. Some take up a position because they do not have value for who they are and the qualities they possess. It is the lack of self-confidence and self-esteem that makes one weak. Subsequently, the role of parents is the most crucial element in this whole scenario. They need to understand that they have reproduced a human and not a robot.
It is okay if your child doesn’t score above 90. It is okay if he doesn’t want to be an engineer or a doctor, it is okay if he is more inclined towards creative and artistic stuff. Each individual has their own strengths, weaknesses, interests and dislikes and forcing anyone to do something they don’t want to, will only push them towards depression and dark emotions.
There are many signs that families need to pay attention to. We have become a society where we do not eat a single meal together but we need to hold on to some traditions as they bond us together with those who matter. Make sure that you eat at least one meal together, that you talk to your child on routine basis, that you genuinely want to know about the likes and interest of your kid.
Pay attention to anything odd you notice in your child’s behavior, pay attention to their mood swings, to the things they say and the things they don’t. A person struggling with suicidal thoughts will definitely show some warning signs and as parents it is your responsibility to be attentive to anything that your child is doing, regardless of his or her age.
It is time we stop introducing our kids to emotions or thoughts that can make them feel small, incapable or insufficient in any manner. It is time we let them accept who they are and accept them as they are. We are a nation with great potential, a potential that is not really being used to its best. We as a society need to contemplate on measures that can give enough confidence to the young generation and enable them to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals.