Change is coming

May 12, 2010 | Neeru Khosla
My four kids who have never lifted a finger to help in the kitchen and have very diverse interests provided me a day that I will always remember.  May 8th, 2010, a date I will always remember, because that became a very special Mother’s Day. They finally got the norms as laid out our society for mother’s day – do something special and meaning full for mother on her day (and hopefully the same for father’s day).
I still remember the day all four of them climbed on to my bed to wish me happy mother’s day – the youngest one was just couple of years old.  The four of them were born 5 years apart.  We should have bought stocks in diaper companies! Alas.  The joy of getting the same treatment as others get on this special day makes us feel at peace with ourselves.  In doing so we feel as if we are part of the society and not outsiders.  All of these years my wonderful husband was doing this for them – sending beautiful flowers and making dinner reservations, although always at the same resturant.  This year it was business as usual – flowers arrived and I was all set for going for dinner except at the last minute.  I saw that magically bags of groceries had arrived.  Yes, they were going conventional and were going to cook a dinner for me.  I couldn’t help but wonder who was going to get hurt first!
So you may ask what does this have to do with education?  Great question.  So let me tell you my perspective.
Somethings just make sense and have value that is hard to deny.  In Eastern culture there are some things that you “just do” because there is sense that it has “value”.  Here is a short list pertaining to education:
  • You belong in a family and there is a value to this belonging which becomes clearer and important as you age
  • As a family unit your value system is your own to adher to
  • You are expected to respect each other especially the older members
  • You always help each other
These are some of the things that are a given and most people live with these kinds of rules.  There is another value that easterners hold very close to our hearts – You will get an education, no matter what.  No excuses, no choices……..

Perhaps, I state it more strongely then I should.  The bottom line is that the pay-offs, not just financially, of a good education are huge.  When ever parents are involved with their young ones the young ones tend to be better off.  All the lucky ones whose parents are involved with their education, tend to do well and get good education.  And, a good life.

There is an underlying premise here – that culture, caring, and commitment are all important.  If the students preceive that people in their lives and in their culture value education then that becomes the norm parallel to the norm that says “do something meaningful if you want to show your mother that you care about her and value her”.  If each child sees and values something that is part of their family unit then that value system becomes strong and becomes part of their and their peers world.
What are the value systems we want to for our children?