We know and understand that ‘actions speak louder than words’. We observe and talk about the body language and behaviour of others. We communicate our own emotions through actions. We expect obedience, humbleness, kindness and honesty from others. Specially, parents, teachers and elders have great expectations when it is a question of their children. They want the best for them and expect that in return they become good human beings and fulfill their wishes. This attitude is universal. In spite of all this, heart breaking incidents do occur. Teenagers and even children are involved in suicide, kidnapping, drugs, theft bullying, harassment and terrorism. These situations are reported each day and should be an eye opener for all of us.

A recent incident of students being involved in using crackers to create panic in schools needs to be taken seriously. The other incident of a teenager committing suicide on denying to appear in an examination has raised alarm bells as well. Each and every tragedy raises so many questions if we introspect and observe. The big question is why all this is happening? We cannot always blame external factors for the negative attitudes prevailing in our society. It is our responsibility as well which is being denied and overlooked. How much we give time to the children and youth. How much concerned are we about their activities and interests? How much do we know about their developmental needs? How much we listen to them and take their concerns seriously? How much we know about their education requirements and extracurricular activities? Why we take their comments and observations as ‘childish’ or ‘influenced’ by others? Why we stop to listen when they do not talk like we want them to say? Why we do not listen and understand their silent behaviour? We feel satisfied and happy when they are busy in playing games or watching TV or sitting at home.

FAUZIA SARDAR NIAZI,

Islamabad, February 23.