“Be a voice not an echo” -This was a quote by Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists humanity has ever seen. This is simple to comprehend. A voice is always original, echoes are just fading replicas of the voice. By this statement, Einstein simply meant that one should to be unique and original, not copycats. Think of all the scientific discoveries and inventions. Everybody had seen apples falling from the trees and most of them either ignored it or ate them away. But Newton thought in a different way – he wondered why apples always fall on the ground, never fly up into the sky. Similarly, Everyone has experienced water flowing out of fully filled bath tub when they step into it. But Archimedes was the one who put this experience to a useful purpose. The pages of the History of Science are filled with hundreds of such stories.
The same applies in our everyday life. If we are to become successful, we need to be different and smart. We have to stand out among the seven billion people in the world to become noticed and successful. This is because, each person is unique and thinks differently, by nature. But what happens is that some external agents (textbooks, teachers, society, media, politicians, etc) conform people to a particular way of thinking. All one has to do is to carefully preserve his nature of thinking in his own perspective with his own points of view and to have the courage to voice it out.
Unfortunately, the present generation is being made to grow inside the shackles of the conformed thinking, right from the time they start attending kindergartens. A study by George Land in 1968 has shown that when children enter the school at the age of 5, 98% of them are creative. By the time they become adults, this percentage falls drastically to 2%, this shows that only 2 out of 100 adults are creative. The rest of the people lose their creativity in the process of education. Do you know where this begins? This begins right the moment we ask a child to memorize that ” A stands for Apple, B for Ball,….”. What we are doing here is that we are confining a child to think that only an Apple begins with an A. So, it is discouraged from thinking about other words that begin with an A.
This process of confinement continues in school. This is chiefly because of the peer group where the majority of the children are echoes and it is weird to be different, so even children with potentials to be original voices become echoes. Another major factor that impedes the creativity of children is that most of them are made to memorize answers to questions, without allowing them to frame their own answers. Children are not even allowed to think creatively about their futures – they are confined to think that they must either be engineers or doctors. Now, enough on the evolution of echoes, how to become voices?
Being a Voice as A Student
Being a voice takes a lot of courage and careful creative thinking. If you are a student, you can be a voice if you do not follow the path others take just because many people take that path and it will be weird if you do not take that path. Then, you end up taking the path which you have no interest in. Take the path which you are passionate about and you are confident that you will excel by walking in that path.
For example, a student scoring more than 90% in his tenth is usually expected to take up Science in +2. All people in +2 are expected to be either doctors(MBBS) or engineers(BE) and in the worst scenarios, scientists(BSc). Any other option is considered disgraceful. Lucky are those whose parents look into what they are really interested in and let them pursue their dreams. If a student is interested to take up Arts, he/she must be fully encouraged to take up.
A student somehow completes his graduation and he is to step into the job market. Now there are two options available – he either has to take a job from somebody else or become an entrepreneur and give jobs to others. Unfortunately, in India, majority of the job ready people choose the first path which is easy. They fear to venture into risks by taking the second path. This is exactly why we see such unemployment and underemployment rates in India.
What can be done here?
Creativity must be encouraged right from the childhood. Children have an ability to come up with imaginary situations and solutions to problems. This must not be discouraged. When this becomes a regular pattern of thinking, we will have more great people like Einstein or Steve Jobs in the making.
There are steps taken up to promote entrepreneurs and startups in India. The students must be encouraged and trained appropriately to start startups and sufficient aid should be provided to help them sustain their businesses. This initial push will prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Being Voices as Leaders
A leader is a person who guides his team towards success. So, quite obviously, leaders are expected to be the voice of their groups. They have to stand for the voice of their group, in spite of all odd circumstances. They are also to stand for the common good of their team, even if the members are against it. This takes a lot of courage and boldness.
A group selects a person who has his own voice (meaning, has his own opinions) and expresses it aloud boldly, without thinking of the consequences. This is because people believe that if a person can defend his stand for his own sake, he will be capable to stand for the group when needed.
A voice must be indeed unbiased, bold and standing for the common good. Such voices are the biggest need of the hour in a confused nation. A leader must never repeat the words of the others like a parrot but must have his own perspective of the situation and must be able to judge the situation without an biases. Then alone, he will be eligible for the position of a leader.
Absence of Voices, Presence of only Echoes
The readers must be aware that in Gol Gumbaz, there is a chamber called the “Whisper Chamber” where if one whispers something once, it will be echoed eleven times. Now there is a place where any voice, whether desirable or not, whether correct or not, will echo a thousand times, wonder where?
The present Indian society witnesses the maximum presence of echoes and minimum voices. In each and every matter, there are a few voices which shout their own manipulated biased opinions and the very next moment, there will be thousands and lakhs of echoes reproducing the same like parrots. People have seemed to lost their own sense of analysis anf originality. All they need is a ready-made conclusion and opinion to adopt. This poses a serious threat to the democracy, which is heavily dependent on the opinion of the people. If they allow their opinions to be manipulated by some biased or on biased voices, they are willingly giving up their voting power to others, except that they authorise the opinions of voices in ballot papers.
With elections in many states, it is an urgent need to educate the people about the real facts and leave the rest to their rational thinking so that they arrive at the conclusion which is beneficial to the whole nation. Let every single individual become a voice of his/her own original opinions, not the echoes of the other voices.
- Image Source: https://liltdalliance.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/a-mountains-echo/
Author: Ms. Nayana M R