THE I-RULE-THE-WORLD -KIND
It wouldn’t take much time to realize- after seeing some teenagers for the first time- that they live as though they rule the world. The way they walk, talk, look and perceive the world is pretty much from a higher, yet illusionary pedestal. They tend to look down upon other people. I have often felt that these teens keep feeding their minds with such information that are merely useful to satisfy their ego. Such ‘superior’ beings of their own making are sure to break their pedestal and eat dust more than ones in their life time. If they do not overcome this sense of superiority when they are young, chances are that they carry it to their graves.
There is a second category of teenagers whom I often come across in the classrooms or in the verandah of schools; for the sake of convenience let me call them the I-don’t-care-kind. They live as though they don’t care who rules the world. It is not their business, so to say, to worry about who is doing what. These teenagers seem to be too arrogant to deal with. You see them sleeping in the class, and when you gently tell them, ‘ this is an important lesson’, they are like ‘please don’t mess with me; I know what is best for me’. They have no commitment to the school, society or the nation at large. May be many such teenagers are under the impression that they look cool with an I-don’t-care attitude. They get noticed, but for the wrong reason.
THE EXTREMELY SUBMISSIVE KIND
If you are a teacher you are sure to have come across the third kind of teenagers I am speaking about. They are more than willing to say ‘yes’ even before the question is complete. It is not that such teenagers do not have an opinion of their own, they do, but they give in to peer pressure far too easily; their desire to avoid conflicts or be a ‘do goody’ or a ‘good friend’ forces them to bend their backbone(in the Indian sense) or prostrate with submissiveness. This group forms the majority of teens I have come across. Many a times teenagers in this group feign being in one of the first two groups to appear ‘cool…’
THE BALANCED KIND
The most miniature of all the groups is the forth kind – The balanced kind. They do not fall into any of the categories mentioned above. These are brilliant teenagers who respect the dignity of everyone they come across although very often they find themselves in difficult situations because the other person they are speaking to belongs to one of the kinds mentioned above. These teenagers have no difficulty in treating others as equals or in giving everyone their due respect. When they are dragged in to a conversation with a person with any of the following attitudes, they try to slip away:
- I am better than you
- I don’t care who you are
- Please tell me what I should do
Teenagers who fall in to the first group are slaves to what can be termed as megalomania more than anything else. The second group (I don’t care who you are) of teenagers have tremendous ‘attitude problems’and the third kind are too submissive. Teenagers from the balanced group do not find themselves at ease with any of them. A teenager from the balanced group would find it extremely suffocating to have a confabulation with such egoists.
Our educational institutions should take up the responsibility of getting in more teens to the ‘balanced group’, and at the same time keep educating those from the other groups of the disadvantages of being there.