Today as a mother, I wondered and pondered on my wish list for what I dream and hope for my children and children around the globe.
By Nischala Murthy Kaushik
Today (14 Nov) is Children’s Day and is a day recognized to celebrate children. It is universally accepted that childhood is one of the best times in anyone’s life as it typically marks a phase of life which is a unique combination of innocence, curiosity, imagination, growth, emotions and positivity. Today as a mother, I wondered and pondered on my wish list for what I dream and hope for my children and children around the globe. In this post, I share my wish list for a better tomorrow.
1. Clean air to breathe for basic life creation, sustenance and growth. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 9 out of 10 people around the world breathe polluted air. A Forbes article suggests that increasing levels of pollution in the air can have devastating long-term impact – both physically and mentally. Hence, it is critical for children’s long-term well-being that they breathe clean air today and tomorrow
2. Availability of disease-free / dirt-free water for daily use and consumption. We are living in a time of global water and sanitation crisis – 844 Mn people are living without access to safe water and 2.3 Bn people are living without access to improved sanitation. Also, the World Economic Forum’s The Global Risks Report 2018 highlights that water crisis is among the Top 5 global risks in terms of impact. So looking forward to an environment where disease-free / dirt-free water is available for daily use and consumption is going to be critical
3. A clean and green environment and ecosystem
4. Access to basic education to build and develop essential knowledge and skills. Nelson Mandela described this in his words “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. For sustainable, scalable, meaningful and relevant change, equipping our children with the gift of education is one of the most powerful life investments
5. Opportunities to discover one’s true capabilities, strength and interests through new and diverse experiences, an enabling learning environment and balanced periodic feedback
6. A safe secure environment to operate on a day to day basis – in terms of safety within the four walls and beyond where the mind is without fear. The 2018 Global Peace Index report published by the think tank Institute for Economics and Peace highlights that places across the globe which are considered “safe” have achieved that spot by focused and systematic on-ground efforts to get here. Hence, it becomes an important priority to ensure the right focus, investments and priorities are given to create a safe secure environment to operate in. Not only does it play a key role in a child’s growth and development, but is also increasingly critical for societies to grow and evolve
7. Access to affordable and reliable healthcare facilities, in times requiring medical intervention
8. The ability and capability to endure the good, bad and ugly that life brings up along the way which are most definitely integral and very real part of children’s lives. For this, having well-meaning support systems (of family, friends and well-wishers) and the strength & ability to acknowledge and accept that things will not always go as planned or go as you wish is becoming increasingly critical in today’s day and age. Of increasing importance is the ability to handle negativity, feedback, judgment and failure in any form, and have the resilience to stand up and keep going
9. Freedom to make choices based on personal preferences, priorities and passion; and the fortitude to live with the choices
10. Emotional strength to be aware of one’s emotions and capability to deal with emotional highs and lows with self-confidence, self-respect and dignity intact. For example: depression among children is becoming a real and increasingly pertinent issue which needs to be addressed. Having the right knowledge to deal with such situations and timely intervention becomes critical to minimize adverse and long-lasting impact
11. Adaptability to deal with change and the pace of change – in terms of people, technology, resources, expectations and products/services
12. Pathways to realize powerful ideas and innovations for larger good. Robin Williams wrote, “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world”.
As I wrapped up this piece – out of curiosity, I asked my 8-year-old daughter, Naisha Kaushik on what she hopes for a better tomorrow. Here is her wish list.
1. Children have clean and clear air to breathe, and there is lesser pollution
2. All kids have access to clean and edible food
3. There is better safety on the roads, at homes, in schools and all around for everyone
4. There is controlled water wastage, and it should be very minimal
5. Children don’t have negative and bad thoughts
6. Hunting/hurting and killing of animals and birds should not be allowed
7. Everyone should follow traffic rules
8. There should be no theft at homes and outside
9. Kids should listen to adults
10. Adults should listen to kids
Our words are different, our ways are different and our worldviews are different. And yet, the single unifying thread is shared dreams, hopes and wishes for a better tomorrow….
What do you dream, hope and wish for children? Leave a comment to let us know…
(Disclaimer: This post is a reflection of the author’s personal views only)
About the Author:
Nischala Murthy Kaushik is the Marketing Director for Innovation and Technology ecosystems at Wipro. She is also a mother, writer, an award-winning blogger, TEDx speaker, IIM alumni and features among Twitterati. Follow her on Twitter @nimu9.