TEENAGER TRANSFORMING INTO ADULT
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Teenage transforming into adulthood is an important phase in the human life. Physical changes noticeable and not so noticeable have to be attended to with the help of mothers, sisters or brothers and same sex friends and it has to be done quietly and discreetly without attracting the embarrassing gaze of strangers. The prying eyes of neighbours, both friendly and unfriendly, may not be obvious but should be avoided at all times. Changes in the mind, the process of thinking and a quest for answers to myriad questions arising every now and then should be found with the help of knowledgeable friends and relatives who are not human predators. Of course, the important point of Spiritualism that gives moral strength to the growing boy or girl is generally ignored because the solvers of life-related problems are themselves unaware of Spiritualism as a force multiplier. Spiritualism should be introduced in the life of a boy or a girl when the person is at the threshold of adulthood. The earlier it is done the better it would be.
Friends play an important role into the lives of the person growing physically, mentally and spiritually. Here the parents play a crucial role in keeping a judicious eye on the friend circle of their wards. It is the peer pressure that friends build on the mind of the growing teenager that may make or mar his or her future. Notwithstanding the innate good nature of the growing person, it is the company that he or she keeps that moulds the personality. A man is known by the company he keeps – that is an old saying but is true today too. Parents or guardians may indirectly play a role in the choice of making friends. One should not commit the same mistake that parents of vagabonds committed in not giving the right direction to the ward in making a selection of friends at the right age.
Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati has dwelt on the subject of education of wards in chapter three of the Satyarth Prakash and his rule of the thumb should be adhered to even today. In chapter two of his magnum opus, the great seer cautioned against abusing the atmosphere by putting into minds of growing teenagers an element of Fear – may be of ghosts, she devils, or the worst one – FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. The growing minds must be disabused of all kinds of Fears before it is too late.
The half baked advice of impractical poets like Abdul Rahim Khankhana should be jettisoned from the curriculum. Rahim wrote a couplet:
Jo Rahim Uttam Prakkrit Ka Kari Sakat Kusang
Chandan Vish Vyapat Nahin Lipte Rahat Bhjang
The poet says that bad company would have not adversely affect a good man’s career like the sandalwood tree is not poisoned by serpents coiling around it all the time. However, the poet just wrote it without knowing the reality of life. A good company makes the future of a growing teenager whereas a bad company just spoils the future for good.
When a teenager is at the threshold of adulthood, he or she passes out of a secondary school and leaves behind old and bosom friends. On entering a college or a technical institute or a military academy, new friends come into life and make a physical and mental impact. It is here that the Poorva Janm Sanskar plays a role in guiding the growing soul in making the right choice in selecting friends. The new friends make an impact on his or her personality and new Sanskars of this Janm come into play. The peer pressure helps or hinders the growth of personality. The local guardian or a benevolent teacher, if there is one, may lend a helping hand in making the right choice of friends.
Is smoking a cigarette or downing a peg of alcohol a sign of adulthood? No, certainly not. Nevertheless in the new institution of higher learning, there are students who wish to pass on their habit of smoking or drinking alcohol to the new entrant. The new comer has to be cautious and firm in saying NO to such habits that are likely to lead him or her astray.
Sex plays an important role in the growth of a teenager. Should he or she just indulge in it just for the sake of an experiment? Well, it is a difficult subject to dal with in a short span of time. Suffice it to say that Spiritualism may come into play at this stage. It is not just a ritualistic approach to the life’s important problem. It is the thinking aspect of a Spiritual life that encourages a student to steer clear of the downhill path and choose the uphill path that is indeed arduous but saves one from sexual pitfalls. Reading of right type of literature and keeping away from sexual stimulants may help in avoiding the company of opposite sex partner or same sex partner in privacy of a room and save one from indulgence in sexual intercourse. An emphasis on Celibacy in student life may be helpful too but teachers and elders avoid discussing this most important topic as they fight shy of it. It is time we debated it in public to save our Gen Next from avoidable pitfalls.
Good literature keeps our minds healthy. Bad books spoil our minds as bad food spoils our stomach. Selection of healthy literature by a teenager or a neo adult is quite important. Pornography has made heavy inroads into our reading habit or habit of watching Internet on the computer. There are agencies that thrust porno into innocuous programmes too. Of course, the solution lies in deleting the unwelcome infiltrator. Indeed a strong will power is needed to press the key to delete porno. It is not an exercise in futility if one is a person of strong will power.
A neo adult cannot read serious literature all the time and needs time and opportunity to relax. Will Porno provide relaxation? No, certainly not. It may prove to be a sexual stimulant and a time waster too. One ius advised to inculcate the habit of writing articles on light topics. One may write even a humorous sketch or a caricature. The real life characters provide many subjects that come our way without an invitation. Just grab them and write on them. One may become a cartoonist to provide humour to the reader of the newspaper where one wishes to publish. Well. There are many avenues of distraction that may succeed in drawing one away from the single point of attention – sex.
When a teenager has become an adult and reached a point in life where Maturity of Mind has come, it would be better to leave him or her alone to ponder over the Future without any outside guidance. If this works out well, it would mean that besides the Poorva Janm Sanskar, the Sanskars of this Janm too have contributed to making an individual a success.
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