Connecting young minds  

Neil Ray     | Published: August 12, 2018 22:17:26 | Updated: August 13, 2018 21:18:51

What are human relations if not discovering one's own self in others -and mutually so. Relations develop on acquaintance. The deeper it is the greater the understanding or rapport. In casual relations, people hardly open their bosom to others. In official or business relations, usually a well-guarded professional attitude towards colleagues prevails. Its expression varies depending on superiors or subordinates one deals with at a given time. Business-as-usual mentality is a key to success in officialdoms and corporate world. This may at times rise beyond such formal equations if business partners or entrepreneurs struggle together to build up a business empire out of scratch. In such cases, material interests can also sour relations beyond repair, leading to tragic consequences.

Yet in this age of dominant social sites, human relations have tumbled to a new low. There is an increasing tendency to be public about anything and everything without considering their merits. A kind of shameless self exhibition is on. And this has caught up with the young generation in particular. Celebrities are not helping the cause by proudly disclosing that they have millions of followers. What purpose does such idle passion with little positive outcome serve? Well, it is utilised best when people are invited to help people in distress.

What is particularly worrying is that this new breed of social-site addicts is unlearning the art of delving deep into human heart. Retrospection, insight and wisdom are receding in the distant horizon in the absence of study of mind and books. Didactic arguments -the result of studying philosophy - have hardly any place on social sites. Ethics is bypassed for the sake of titillating elements. They revel in cheap and showy self-aggrandisement to the extent that they neglect parents and family members. The virtual world becomes real to them and the real world disappears from their distorted sight.

In extreme cases, the more involved among them have no friend in need who is a friend in deed too. Thus they lose both worlds. They never know what human bonds can be. Commitment, trust and mutual reliance are so precious in life that relations based on such virtues can pull a person out of the mundane. A friend circle promoted by a leading Bangla contemporary has worked wonder. Today friend groups formed all across the country have not only been fostering human relations but also inspiring them to respond collectively to many crises they face or they come to know about others facing.

It is a wonderful initiative that has saved a large number of young people from being robotic and alone. The members of the friend circles go on excursions in groups and the discovery of a number of challenging but highly attractive tourist spots goes to their credit. Their participation in social works, relief and rehabilitation programme have kept them active and a flame of love glowing in their souls.

In France, use of smartphones at the school level has been banned not for nothing. In countries like Bangladesh this should have done even earlier. Now that France has done it, such countries will not be given the stamp of technological regression if they do so. In this connection, these countries would do better to ban all the bizarre computer games that are spoiling the life of exceptionally meritorious students.

Instead, such young people should be brought under programmes like the friend circles formed at the initiative of the newspaper mentioned. Let their exuberance of energy be channelised into community service which helps develop fellow feelings, empathy, responsibility, commitment and a sense of purpose. A sort of social movement like this can bring out the positive yearning and creativity lying dormant in the young generation.              


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