“All work and no play doesn’t just make Jill and Jack dull, it kills the potential of discovery, mastery, and openness to change and flexibility and it hinders innovation and invention.” said Joline Godfrey. I am about to narrate the story of a boy who was just like jack, who didn’t play enough in his childhood, who was chubby and fat all through his life as he remembers, who was a charming kid in his childhood but went on to become a lazy, low on confidence indecissive person in the his early youth and his life changing journey in graduation that changed him completely as a person.
Alfred who is now in his youth was once a school going boy, in his childhood he was a innoscent, most charming student in school. He was an average student in studies but bright in other oratory extra curricular activities like quiz, debate, pick and speak and turn the coat event. His friends would look at him in jealousy at his extra ordinary oratory skills. He had such good oratory skills that once his teacher told him that he shall go on to become a great politician in his life. Wondering where did he get such good oratory skills…? It was his father who used to tune in his television set only to news, debate and other current affairs program. Like alfred his father too was addicted only to current affairs program on TV.
In his childhood , Alfred looked like a beautiful cup cake, baked brightly colored and swollen round. He was fat. Its easy to guess what was the reason behind his looks like that of a cupcake. He was one spoilt kid who never had friends near home to play and hence TV was his only friend. Unlike other kids he never read comic books too, his parents never used to read any books to put him to bed. They used to just feed him so much that he used to go on to sleep on his own lazily because of stuffing his body with too much food. So making him sleep was never a problem to his parents and hence they didn’t find the need to read bed time stories for Alfred to make him sleep. This resulted in getting him baked round like a beautiful cup cake. Parents always thought that their son looks so healthy. They never thought that he was fat. Their love blindfolded them with reality. Little they knew that their son never played any outdoor games in school because other kids used to tease him for being a cupcake and would never let him play with them. Alfred grew up without playing in outdoor like other kids. Parents never realised Alfred’s problem because Alfred always used to win prizes in oratory events in school. And they thought that their son is doing wonderful in school as he wins many prizes and fares quite well in his studies. They never realised that their son is not playing any outdoor games.
After completing his schooling Alfred went on to study in college. He joined such a college that none knew its name. His college was more like a public park than an educational institution. Lecturers never cared which student attended the class and who didn’t. Students used to come and go like a public park. Classes were filled with students that it looked like a circus, students looked like spectators and lecturer was like a joker who played to the tunes of the spectators to keep them happy. Alfred’s parents knew little of this. They enrolled him to this college thinking its a very noble educational institution and his son would benefit greatly in this college. They were despised with the number of years of existence of that college. College had only grown old, neither their management nor the ranking of college grew for providing the quality education. This old college had many new lecturers and very few old lecturers, new lecturers with very little teaching experience and old lecturers with lots of ego and pride and with very less to teach. New lecturers tried to teach bits and pieces and old lecturers taught very less expecting new lecturers to teach everything. Old lecturers wanted to be in comfort for gaining so many years of teaching experience. Amidst all this drama Alfred completed his 11th and 12 th class with average marks. He managed to score a first class with the help of private tuitions he received. In his two years of college the same trend continued, he never played outdoor. College didn’t even had a playing ground, that was another major reason why college never organised games for their students. College rarely used to organise oratory competitions and Alfred continued to win in those events. Like always he managed to convince his parents that he was doing good in his college and life. But in reality he was the same, Jack who never played and was becoming lazy day by day and without games his personality too got affected. By the end of college Alfred never realised the importance of competing or winning. He never knew what’s a true sportsman ship. i.e to take both winning and loosing equally. Alfred grew up as a shy boy, a boy who never realised the value of playing as a team, a boy who preferred to be by himself than to mix with other people and be a team player. He was feeling like a one man army all the time.
Alfred went on to pursue his graduation. It was an experience that would make him introspect on many things happening in his life. By his good luck or god’s grace he got into a prestigious college and fared really good in the college. The college had stood up to its reputation. It was one of the most famous and prestigious college in the city. The college was known for its extra curricular activities and the importance they give for all round development of the students. The college was also known for excellent academic performance apart from their excellence in sports, The college used to organise regularly outdoor activities like games, sports meet, village exposure camps…etc. The graduation college was a life changing experience for Alfred. It made him realise the value of extra curricular activities. It made him think that by working as team he can benefit to a greater extent. Most importantly he needs to change his cupcake image. He realised the importance of working on his personality both physical and intellectually.
Now the question is how many get the opportunity to get such good college. Imagine what would have happened to Alfred if he had not been to that college. He would have turned himself to an introvert, a shy person, a person with no confidence, a failure. It is very important for parents to keep a track of their children. They should go deep into the lives of their children and understand what is he/she going through. First parents need to understand the importance of extra curricular activities and how it helps in shaping personalities of their children. Students should branch out from the sole academics and should involve in extracurricular activities too, which will help them spill out the charismatic personality in them, make them a leader than a follower, imbibe in them team building spirit, enhance self esteem and prepare them to face the challenges the world has to offer them in their success journey.
Its not just the story of Alfred, but there are millions of children who may be facing these problems. It is upto us to work towards a society that is sensitive towards these issues and help build great personalities. All of this can happen when parents take a little more interest and try to understand what their children is doing and what is happening in their life. Educational institutions should look into all these issues in greater detail. Government education authorities should make sure that condusive enviornment is there in schools and colleges. All of this can happen when there exists greater awareness on this and I hope this story may create awareness to few atleast if not many.