Beginning and Ending

Two newspaper articles caught my eye today.

The first one made me nod in agreement. I think single-sex schools are an artificial construct, and lead to all kinds of problems.

I myself went to a girls-only school, and then did my plus-two also in a girls-only college, before I got into a co-ed engineering college. At the end of it all, I had made up my mind that no child of mine would ever go to a single-sex school. Segregation has never worked well, and this is no exception.

We need to ensure that children are well-adjusted and have a balanced point of view about life in general. Single-sex schools work just the opposite. A child grows up viewing the opposite sex as something taboo or exotic, and ends up with just stereotypes to work with.

Co-ed schools bust so many myths about the opposite gender; children learn that every person is different and tarring the entire opposite gender with the same brush is not appropriate. They learn to view people as humans first, since they are exposed to the fact that both girls and boys need not conform to popular stereotypes. I reiterate this many times to Lil D, so that she realizes each person is unique, and generalizations can be taken only so far.

Co-ed schools promote a healthy interaction between the sexes. Girls and boys learn that they can indeed be “just friends” as opposed to popular culture that vehemently states otherwise. Physical differences are obvious and matter-of-fact, not a matter of speculation and whispered confabulations.

It might sound a little harsh, but I think single-sex schools ought to be banned; the damage they do is not negligible.

The second article that snagged my attention was on World Cancer Day. Today is World Cancer Day. Chances are that you know at least one person, directly or indirectly, who has been stricken with cancer.

Having seen at somewhat close quarters what this awful affliction can do, the one thing that springs to my mind is the sense of helplessness that pervades once we realize that someone has reached an irreversible stage of cancer. Used to popping pills to cure anything and everything, it is so hard to wrap your mind around the fact that medical science is not all-potent, and does not have the cure for everything.

I agree with all my heart with what this powerful article says about letting go and dying gracefully. We all have no qualms in stating time and time again that quality of life is more important than quantity, yet we do not hesitate to subject a cancer patient to all sorts of torturous treatments just to prolong the life, quality be damned.

I know how difficult the decision is to abandon all treatment, since I had to personally take that decision for my uncle, who was suffering from renal failure amongst many other issues. Everyone I spoke to me supported the decision, yet it is really tough to stand back and say I give up.

When our whole life has been devoted to just the opposite motto of never giving up, learning to recognize and accept the end is a difficult lesson to master indeed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s