An ad on TV urges us to stop staring out of the window while we travel and instead shop online. Another ad asks us to stay tuned over the weekend, and be a couch potato in order to watch their shows. Do we want our teenagers to stay connected to the idiot box every weekend to watch a marathon of comedy sitcoms? Really, is this what we are heading to?

Maybe not all will get influenced by these ads. But young impressionable minds could sit and order goods online, or be glued to the TV, rather than take up a new skill or even volunteer somewhere.

Somewhere between one day sale and ‘you can order online’ the world has passed by.

I urge you to notice people while you travel.
With your head buried in your phone, you will miss the man who touches his head and then his chest as he passes a temple; you will smile at his rushed attitude and his faith.

Notice the school boys who jump over the puddles and then promptly jump into one of them just for the heck of it; it will remind you of your school days. Maybe you should call that old friend of yours.

See that young teenage boy giving his shoulder to his aged father walking with him through the market. It’s been a while since you have spoken to your parents hasn’t it?

See the mother holding her teenage son’s hand and walking him to school. Times have changed and children can’t be left unattended, even for a short distance.

These are people with expressions that your mind wants to capture and your words want to immortalize. There is so much more to life than the latest freedom sale.

Teenagers often feel lost and seek answers about their purpose in life. My write up today is for you. I was as clueless as you are when I was young, but I wanted to learn. So grab any opportunity that comes your way, whether it’s a new dance form or a new language or even the chance to help out a neighbour.

The learning you get from people around you will be remembered for life. Volunteer in an NGO, visit an old-age home, or learn to cook irrespective of your gender. But don’t be fooled by the media into sitting at home on a weekend and watching someone make a fool of themself on the idiot box.

The time that you have now is not going to stand still, use it wisely, use it well.

~ Khushnuma


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