My son started school this year. Before the academic year began, the principal invited all the parents for “a chat”. Now, I might be the only mother to say this, but this lady’s words annoyed me to no end. She kept emphasizing that the school has rules (obviously) and there are reasons why these rules have been written (I’m sure) and these must be unquestioningly followed.
This was the part that annoyed me. Why unquestioningly? If your rules are so perfect, why are you afraid someone might question them? Why put it in words that are so dictatorial? And at times, quite frankly, ridiculous. Consider this example:
“If your child is sick, write a leave note on the yellow pages of his school diary. Why the yellow pages, and not the blue pages, you ask? Because that’s our rule. Leave letters must be written on yellow pages.”
When my son first brought the diary home, I decided to check its colorful pages, and what rules applied to each. I noted that all pages were yellow. Then why did you even talk about the non-existent blue pages? What are you trying to prove? That your rules are so stringent that at times they don’t even make sense?
I’m not against rules. I question society sometimes, but out of habit, usually follow the rules, and even keep my appointments on time (yes, that’s very un-Indian of me, I know)! But when words like “unquestioningly” appear in front of instructions, I begin to wonder about the insecurity and foolishness of the person making such statements.
That day I realized we’re gonna have another generation of automatons in this world – whose wings will be clipped even before they learn to soar and whose colorful dreams would be replaced by black and white analyses. A lot of parents are gonna disagree with me here, but that day, I wished my son would just learn how to read and write in school and go off in the world and learn things on the way! I’d rather make my son an ambitious free thinker, than a limited in-the-box-thinker.
But unfortunately, unquestionable rules state that my son should be able to recite the multiplication tables backward in front of jealous relatives so that I as a parent can glow with pride and imply, “Oh he’s so much better than your kid.”
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