Good For Nothing
Good For Nothing4 mins 41 4 mins 41
As a parent or an elder sibling in the house, or a superior / senior at the workplace, we often come to a situation in which we, knowingly or unknowingly, compare two individuals. Individuals. The term ‘individual’ has certain different meanings like : “a person considered separately rather than as part of a group” and “a person who is original and very different from others”. The basic underlying point being that every person whom we are comparing with another “individual(s)” or with a group is different from them – having one’s own likes and dislikes, own abilities and inabilities – a whole different set of qualities. So, what the comparison is basically for?
Let it be put in simple terms by a short incident which forced me to think over it – being a teacher, I come across certain people (both colleagues as well as parents) who emphasize on the fact that a few of their students or their own child is “good for nothing" since he is not getting good marks / grades in the academics and / or the co-curricular activities. By God’s grace, I tried not to say so for any child (I did failed sometimes in my attempt) but I never argued over this generally followed ideology of ours.
The present pandemic time, where we are bound to look at and work upon things differently, my thoughts of this “comparison" ideology too changed when one of my students – Jayesh wrote a short poem about Mother.
His writing challenged my view of Good for Nothing concept. Jayesh has neither been a very bright student in academics (especially the language classes) nor I ever found him participating in the co-curriculars that actively. I always found him to be a shy and dormant kind of child in the classroom. Some of us were also assured enough about our assumption that he would not be able to achieve much in his life, till the time when he came up with a poem of his own to me. Jayesh was keen to know about my feedback over it. Believe it or not, but I was surprised to see that he has so clearly and easily penned down his thoughts of a Daughter about her Mother in Hindi (ignoring the rhythmic details). Talking to him about the poetry, he also told me that he wished to become a successful photographer in life.
Now that was the moment when I realized, what went wrong with my acceptance of the Good for nothing concept.
Basically, we as a system – personal, educational and professional have become so rigid and stereotyped that we don’t want to see beyond “those figures”. Figures of the report card – figures of sales target – figures of successfully cleared exams……..and so many others. Aren’t we trying to fit a single screw in every possible part of a complete machine? Why can’t we still realize that a student not good in language may be more interested in learning architecture or a very brilliant singer may not be interested in mathematics. Someone having stage phobia might be excellent at back stage tasks. At the workplaces, a good sales person may not be very good at presentations or a very good accountant may be resistant when it comes to designing machinery. May be that is why we have different subjects in schools and universities and different departments in the offices.
I find myself unable to imagine only tomatoes everywhere around. What if we all had same single face. Or had just tomato soup for all our meals all our lives.
Let us accept that every “individual” is an “individual”. We all have certain inborn qualities as well as shortcomings. Let’s not be Tomatoes or expect others to be Tomatoes.
Nothing is a very broad term. It involves every quality and trait that exists. Spare two minutes and think have you ever come across someone who is really Good for nothing?
Certainly no. Because Good for nothing does not exists. It’s we, as an elder, a teacher, a superior who must know, explore and understand what a person is good / better at and encourage him to excel in it, making him better at what he is not and while being a part of this process its also our duty to take the utmost care of not humiliating or disrespecting or discouraging the person.
Remember : Had there been something like “waste", the schools would not have had incorporated “best out of the waste".