The title is a play on a catch phrase used by Johnny from the fantastic four. Flame on, and it sets the hero ablaze. Wonderful times and three movies so far and studios have managed to kill the joy from a super hero movie.
Blame on is a simpler thought process. I think it was a Friday. I had grown tired of listening to Ludovico. Part blasphemy and part mobile phone running near empty. I couldn’t listen to the songs so I managed to tune to the Radio. A pointless discussion about how school are in the business of churning out scoring machines rather than minds soaking in an education.
The rat race starts really early. Having been a spectator watching 2 nephews and a niece grow, I’m led to believe that numbers are almost everything! And then there is the American IVY league dream. A world of opportunities, a life of greatness to achieve. I don’t think it’s fair enough to blame anybody about the way things have taken shape. Kids will be kids and parents will be parents. It’s a race where neither wants to step up or step down.
Yes, I do keep both the kids and parents accountable here. Most of my friends from school are in the USA. It was a big deal when we were growing up. School, ace it and land into a ‘Good College’. Ace it and score well over the GREs and GMATs and life in the USA was almost a predetermined course for many of us. I was both stupid and lacked such an ambition. I did feel left out from the herd. I had eyes set on something a little more locally accessible. The guitar shop which sold guitars wroth dreaming about.
The amount of peer pressure is humungous. When I was a student, the pressure was near negligible and mostly because my parents did not really push me hard to pursue the American dream. It was around the time when my nephew had to pick a college for his undergrad, I felt the pressure that was eating into his head. It does hit a kid hard when all it’s friend are at some place and the kid alone sits in a different zone. A very long walk and a long discussion with a few of my friends and my nephew later, the kid finally eased up and stopped being extremely hard on himself. Things did eventually pan out. He got what his heart desired.!
Kids will be kids. Theirs is a reality that makes a little sense to us grown ups. How can we blame them for wanting what their friends want? Haven’t we all been through a similar phase in our career as well? Each time I hear “I want to be in a technical role. Be a developer”, an extended conversation usually leads to 4 four roommates and one bloke who is not a developer. This does not just plague the new blood among us. This peer comparison plagues all of us alike.
That bloke makes more money than I do, his org is better. The perks that she gets is awesome. Dude, what a working environment they have. Yes, I’ve found myself at the centre of many such conversations. We do like what our neighbours have. Sometimes, we don’t get what our neighbours have. We as adults face the same demons as kids these days face. And what do we do about it? Push them kids harder!
This is where parents come into the equation. Another round of comparison, another round of “This is the one and only way out”, and another round of “Don’t you realize how much crucial all of this is” later, we do come face to face with the question that the radio seemed to talk about.
Can we even ask that question these days? What’s the purpose of education? Is education here to enlighten us, or is it here to give us a golden ticket for a shot at something significant and larger than life?
We have the rest of our lives to figure things out. Why take chances? Asking the same questions in life, it is rather comfortable when we also are in possession of such golden tickets!!!! asking questions is not everything in life either 🙂
So, Blame on… take comforts in pointing out the hypocrisy at play. Yes, the world around us is drenched in hypocrisy and somewhere down that road, we are bone dry under the umbrella of ambitions that keeps us safe, dry and driven 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂