dvancement in science and technology has made a tremendous impact on human welfare. It has helped develop the world to near perfection, with instant comforts.
Nevertheless, people are not as happy as they should be. Their worries escalate on a daily basis and they end up with a state of depression.
This is the status of most of the Sri Lankans. Depression will be the second leading cause of death in 2020. What can we do for this?
To a greater extent, this is due to globalisation and modernisation, but are these the only causes?
The root of the problem may be the way the children are brought up in life. Petting them too much during their childhood may be a reason for this crisis.
This is one aspect of my article and the other is that the present status of children not speaking in their mother tongue, disrespecting their parents, teachers, elders, religion and culture.
What a pity? What can we do?
Parents play a pivotal role in upbringing their children. They must act as their role models. They should mould their children to be good citizens of our Motherland.
But, the fact is that nowadays both parents are working and the children are at the daycare centres or parents do not have sufficient time to spend with their children.
In some cases, children isolate themselves and engrossed in playing TV games or watching movies.
Here the addiction starts too early in life. As a result, they do not perform well at studies and they leave their schools as failures.
"While praying with children do not ask for wealth, power or fame as these stress builders "
This trend continues in their adulthood as well. When they enter into adulthood most of them get addicted to cigarette smoking and alcohol.
Should not we take corrective action now? It is not too late.
The parents should pet their children fully up to first three years. Thereafter they should reduce petting and focus on Children’s education gradually.
Parents should endeavour to make their children obedient to them. They should instil the family values in their children’s mind.
Teachers should treat all students equally including the students at the back benches.
Since this group of students are highly vulnerable to mischievous acts proper coaching and guidance must be given to them in order to make them studious. Teachers too play a pivotal role in the future of these students.
Managing time wisely to avoid stress and improve productivity
This means the time has to be utilized effectively and efficiently. The utilisation of time by individuals could be broadly categorised into time investment (studying, working), time spent (Traveling, talking) and time wastage (Idling, gossiping).
Hence, you must invest more time in good deeds, reduce the unnecessary time spent and avoid wastage of time.
In order to do this, you should have objectives and goals in your life. Your objectives have to be realistic ones which need to be SMART.
They have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Related and Timely. When you have clear objectives for your life you have less time to worry or to be depressed.
If you want to be happier, then you should have a holistic approach to your life.
In order to do this, you should focus on your personal life, family life, work life, social life, community life and spiritual life.
When your children too follow this most of the problems outlined earlier will disappear.
Particularly, you should strike a balance between your family life and work life.
The above will lead the way to increased productivity. Simultaneously, the national productivity will also increase.
"The utilisation of time by individuals could be broadly categorised into time investment (studying, working), time spent (Traveling, talking) and time wastage (Idling, gossiping)"
Implicit faith in God
With regard to children neglecting their religion, you should set an example to them.
You should pray daily with your family at home and at least visit sacred institutions once a week with your family.
When praying please do not ask for wealth, power or fame as these are stress builders even though you acquire those.
Instead pray for serenity, peace and love. When you acquire these you will also get wealth.
Neglect of religion, and Sinhala and Tamil languages in International Schools
Since nowadays you get International Schools everywhere we need to be vigilant on children obtaining lessons in religion as the International Schools do not have religion as a subject.
Further, there are only one or two classes per week allocated for Sinhala or Tamil languages.
Parents cannot do much about it. Hence, the Government should intervene promptly to safeguard our religion, culture, tradition and languages besides our national identity.
In life sometimes we get what we want immediately, sometimes there will be a delay in getting what we want, sometimes we may not get what we aimed for and sometimes we gain unexpectedly.
All these are part and parcel of our life. We should accept this wholeheartedly. For example, if you pedal a push bicycle it will move simultaneously. Action and result are seen at the same time. If you throw a rubber ball at the wall it will bounce to your hands within a few seconds. Here, relatively a delay is seen in the result.
But if you plant a seed now and you have waited patiently for years to the fruits. Hence, if we do not get results immediately, there is no need to get panic or stressed out.
Rather you focus only on the action and expect the benefits.
Should it be yours, it will come to you. Otherwise, you need to strive and struggle in fulfilling new expectations. By having this mindset you can easily avoid stress or depression.
Remember we need to have a certain amount of stress to propel in action.
Whilst appreciate the Government’s move to set up more counselling centres in hospitals I humbly request the leaders to consider to include the strategies to Primary Prevention of Depression.
"This is the status of most of the Sri Lankans. Depression will be the second leading cause of death in 2020. What can we do for this?"
Change with the Change
Finally, we need to change with the change. Do not resist change. Changes could happen in the school, at workplace, society or country at large.
If we want to be in the first place, we must change. The change means growth. The change means prosperity. Teach these lessons in life to your children.
We can best pay our own debt to our motherland by building a better future for generations on the framework our forebears established.
Today, we as Sri Lankans can act as good ancestors by linking our ideal of service with the generations to come. Let us get together and work to build the future with
Vision and action
Let us make our children as tomorrow’s leaders. I take this opportunity to wish all our children a very happy children’s day. May God bless you and your families.
The writer is a Marketing, Personal Development and Change Management Consultant. You may reach him via email@example.com. He is also Senior Advisor /Senior Lecturer at Sri Ponnambalawanesvarar Hindu Religious School