To be “Practical” or “Moral”?
Posted on: November 16, 2021.

Author: Prabhukrishna M, Content Creator/Chief Editor, YOKIBU Editorial

One of the significant aspects of parenting is that it isn’t always possible to practice what can be preached. Children are taught how to do things right but when it comes to reality one has to be practical.

It isn’t always possible to see everything in black and white, as children do, but when it comes to the grey areas, even genuine adults could find themselves in a tight corner.

It is, however, often easy having children taught what is right and what is wrong by teaching it to them. Yet, sometimes, our own “grey areas” get contradicted by our actions as children find.

A lesson on traffic signals—to “STOP” when the signal lamp is RED, “GET READY” when it’s AMBER, and “GO” when it’s GREEN—is easily taught to children, but when it comes to abiding, it is not only in our hands.

This happened to a parent who shared his experience on a parenting discussion forum. He’d heard his daughter—who’d returned from her play school—tell him what each colour in the traffic signal had meant.

Appreciating her correctly mentioning Red-Stop, Amber-Ready, and Green-Go, he’d committed that they’d observe the traffic signals the next time they went out together in their car.

Another day, while returning home from office after picking up his daughter from school, they were passing by the beach on the way, when they arrived at one of many traffic signals on their route.

From the car, his daughter was eagerly watching the traffic lamps on the signal-post and remarked ‘Stop’, ‘Get Ready’ and ‘Go’ as the colours changed from Red to Amber to Green.

Therefore, the father had waited for her to follow the lights and drove accordingly. However, sticking to the rules all the time while driving is practically almost impossible…

…especially when traffic rules are generally ignored in busiest cities like Bangalore and Chennai—one can be only Roman while in Rome. The father was forced to move before the lights turned green…

…by the city bus in one signal and a corporation truck in another, honking from behind and forcing him to jump the lights. And each time his daughter would shout, “Dad! It isn’t GREEN yet”.

The father revealed at the end of his discussion that he was left pondering, on many such occasions, how to tell his daughter why it wasn’t always possible to abide by any rules, let alone ones for traffic regulation.

When situations and circumstances are ‘black and white’ the pure-mindedness of children helps them manage it but then parents find themselves in a fix, while having to prepare children when it falls to grey.

The great painter Pablo Picasso had remarked “Every child is an artist. The only problem is that they grow up”. The present scenario, however, is much worse—no child is any more an artist, save the digital kind.

No parent would teach their children to be immoral, but children must certainly be taught to be practical where warranted, having to survive in an era where they are expected to be more practical than moral.

With industrialization taking over agrarianism, corporatism taking over socialism, maximization of consumerism taking over conservative minimalism, and lifestyle luxury taking over need-based survival…

…many aesthetic, naturalistic, purist, moral, ethical, and eco-friendly traits are disappearing from human tendencies and being replaced by the sole need to fortify one’s financial and/or social media position.

The very word “practical” is a sophisticatedly disguised term for “having to be immoral, unethical, and non-conscientious”…

…used by self-centred persons to explicitly imply “practicality” to kind-hearted, moral, ethically-oriented persons—whose frequency is more often than rare.

This has generated an insignificant, indifferent, self-centred, irresponsible, and immoral virtual world within the greater, more significant, delicate, and vulnerable biological world shared by life forms beyond humans.

Another parent even remarked that just the thought of wanting to live a ‘moral life’—notwithstanding the social pressures to be “practical”—will resonate positively with the world and gather goodness.

While children must be taught to be moral in as many situations as possible, that learning must be enhanced by preparing them to understand when, where, and why it is ‘OK’ to bend or disregard “impractical” rules.

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