Democracy is a government of the people, for the people and by the people said Lincoln, and most people believe that it is the best form of governing. Out of all the known democratic countries, indirect democracy is more popular due to obvious constraints but today, through this write-up I’d like to promote, advocate and encourage direct democracy, yes direct democracy but at the grassroots level. To the uninitiated, direct democracy is the form of government where everyone directly contributes in the decision making as opposed to indirect democracy where people choose representatives to take decisions on their behalf.
Every family has to make decisions, as a whole, for the whole and generally the ‘man of the house’ is the decision maker, in some cases along with his better half but being a representative of the ignored, the progeny of the house, I’d like to ask for the right to have a say in decision making. It indeed is ironic how we talk about the advantages of democracy and practice this dictatorship at home.
How often has it happened that children make decisions, mostly trivial in nature like the topic of their project, the flavour of their ice cream or the brand of their chocolate or smartphone (depending on their age and interests) and then happen to regret them? How often does it happen the students change their subjects and classes and youngsters change their jobs, even streams, realizing that they regret their decision? We and they themselves often blame their inconclusive thoughts, their peers, the environment for this fickleness but how many even think that maybe, just maybe the child wasn’t taught how to organize its thoughts and analyze all possible short and long term consequences before selecting amongst the available choices, how to take responsibility and stand accountable. These are basic life skills required by the leaders and their subjects alike and I wish to take a stand for them.
Did you ask your child before deciding on the brand of your new television?
To those who argue about how uninformed and unknowledgeable the child is about the subject, I request you to explain to him/her how AB is out of budget and CD does not have a good screen resolution. Tell the child what prompted you to choose EF over GH and why the body colour of the TV should not be your priority. Ask the child to choose and discuss with it the pros and cons of the decision. If you differ in opinion, hold voting and let the choice of the majority prevail.
As your child grows, explain him/her about your priorities, the very priorities that influence your decisions. Tell them what your opinion is about decisiveness and its opposite.
Eventually, the child that constantly looks to parents for validation of its actions will then feel included, important, valued and loved. The child knows how the decision affects its life and understands what he/she needs to prioritize. If the decision goes wrong the child knows that he/she is equally accountable for its failure and if the decisions turn out to be good, the child can start trusting his/her own self and develop his/her confidence with invaluable experience. The child understands about compromises and the importance of them. The feeling of dissatisfaction can be eliminated. The child knows when to think long term and when to prioritize the near future, when to save every paisa till it doubles and when to splurge, when can risks be afforded and when is it advisable to tighten the noose.
The parents can see the child grow wiser, get a different outlook and opinion and a chance to teach the child much more than what academics ever can. This child can then share responsibilities and cruise his or her way to adulthood. This same kid will know what his or her liabilities and assets are and where his or her loyalty should lie. This child will give you an opinion on the better insurance policy and the best investment plan. This very child would grow to be a good citizen who understands the value of democracy and the importance of taking everyone’s point of view. This child will grow to be a responsible voter, maybe even candidate
Beginning at the roots, we’ve reached the tips. And that’s how asking the child for the choice of restaurant for the weekend dinner, maybe risking a slightly unpleasant experience bears wonderful fruits.
I am grateful to the Greeks, democracy indeed is a great conception!!
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