“Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure”, the first line of The Stranger, a novel written by the famous French author Albert Camus. The title character learns of his mother’s death through a telegram. A question arises on perception of reality, through the line. Is reality, in absolute, when the characters mother died or when he comes to know that his mother died? There are two extreme ends to the continuum where at one end lies objectivity and at the other, subjectivity.
We, human beings, live as social actors in a social phenomena where we observe and learn behaviors. The way we perceive the environment we live in, and its reality, is an imperative part of our learning process. A child from a very early stage of life starts observing other people, their actions and the situation in which those actions are being performed. With a gentle process the child starts assimilating all the information and attaches traditional religious and cultural values to it, thus creating a subjective map of reality in the unconscious mind. Behaviors then emanate from the unconscious and further a feedback loop is created. This learning process never dies, but it may dwindle over time.
Unfortunately, in our society, a child starting from the birth continuing to every step of life learns the word can’t. If a child says he wants to swim, the parents say no he can’t, he wants to be an artist, no! He can’t, until for each one of us the word can’t develops as a pocket to our dress and we put our hand into the pockets every time we think of pursuing something. This is how the learning evolution forms in our society where we are deprived of our basic right, only through the word can’t and as a result we start painting a multifaceted picture of reality, and in the revulsion of the process some start perforating reality to enter into the world of fantasy.
Ascertaining a problem is essential, but an attached solution is indispensable. So what can we do to release ourselves of the shackles of can’t. From an external perspective, teachers at school and parents at home, both, hold the primary responsibility to provide our children an environment where they are more confident and focused towards learning. This can be considered as the most fundamental step where the children are environed by tolerance of mistakes and they develop a will, encouraged by an external support, to do anything that seems impossible. From an internal perspective, it is absolutely imperative that children in our society learn to reason, study reasoning as a skill in order to develop a better understanding of themselves,to coevolve with the phenomenon’s around them and develop an objective map of reality in their minds.
Once the child is conditioned in such a manner, will he become a man who will say yes I can, rather than no I can’t. The onus is on the elders, for what they teach the younger ones. We need to break this chain and release ourselves from the shackles. If we succeed in developing such a society, then we may expect to start developing doers rather than criers. This is easier said than done, but it is only the first few steps that are required to break the inertia. So let us create a map, where understanding the reality is a primary destination, a world where the young and the old are free to make mistakes as long as they learn to learn, and a world where everyone can.