It feels good to see them so aware of their environment while having such a sound sense of self.
By Ritika Jain
We can learn a lot from children about tolerance and acceptance, about kindness, compassion and civility. This is a bold new generation that seems to be internalising all that is positive and shunning hypocrisy.
Kids have never failed to impress with their enthusiastic zeal for life, innocent love and zen acceptance levels that we adults seem to have forgotten. Gen Z has recently won praise for being a woke generation — for being mindful, for showing compassion towards others’ rights, for standing up in solidarity and speaking up when required. They are better behaved in public spaces, frown at gay jokes or gender biases, believe all body types are beautiful, take to social media for fund-raising and actively petition for causes they believe in. It feels good to see them so aware of their environment while having such a sound sense of self.
I spoke with some young ones to get a feel of the values they’re growing up with and here’s what I learnt:
I am beautiful. So are all my friends. – Bahaar, 7.5 years
I like reading. I got the reading champ award in school. I like to travel to new places too. – Advay, 8.5 years
Education is important because that’s how I learn about new things and understand why everything happens. – Keshav, 9
People should behave better in public spaces by not breaking queues and cutting through traffic. Why is everyone in such a rush that they forget to be polite? – Shubhika, 9
Education is important so we can teach others someday. – Aman, 9
To make the world a better place, I would hire Tom Cruise and make a film on climate change, take him to all the places where climate change is happening in a non-polluting jet, and show my film to the world. – Kazuo, 8
We should be kind to each other by sharing everything and not teasing each other. No biting, hitting, slapping or showing anyone your pee pee. We don’t say bad words. – Advit, 5
Friendship always stays with you and makes you happy. I may have a fight with my friend but we’re fine again the next day. – Navika, 8
If someone is hurt, you should ask them if they’re hurt. If you bump into someone, you should say you’re sorry. – Arhaan, 4
We can all behave better by not throwing garbage on the road, not making a racket at public places like restaurants, driving with headlights on low beam (everyone who gets a license ought to know that). While our generation did become more aware earlier than the previous one, we are generating a lot more waste. On one hand, we have people like Greta Thunberg. On the other, there are many who want big cars and gadgets and branded things. We talk about it but very few are actually planting trees or refusing to buy plastic. In fact, very few people in my generation would turn off electricity voluntarily or walk/cycle to short distances. – Manasvi, 12.5
Read| Kids can influence parents to make a difference
Talk less, listen more. If someone’s lonely, play with them. And always tell the truth. – Arav, 7
It doesn’t matter if people have different skin colour. I’d never even thought about this before! – Vivaan, 11
I am proud of my country because it has taught me that the whole world is a big family. So, we love everyone and be tolerant. – Vedika, 6
A hero is somebody who puts other people’s needs before their own and doesn’t discriminate. Girls can be heroes because they are strong on the inside and can empathize with others. – Nithya, 10
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