Read this: The Organization Kid and sample this:
The world they live in seems fundamentally just. If you work hard, behave pleasantly, explore your interests, volunteer your time, obey the codes of political correctness, and take the right pills to balance your brain chemistry, you will be rewarded with a wonderful ascent in the social hierarchy. You will get into Princeton and have all sorts of genuinely interesting experiences open to you. You will make a lot of money—but more important, you will be able to improve yourself. You will be a good friend and parent. You will be caring and conscientious. You will learn to value the really important things in life. There is a fundamental order to the universe, and it works. If you play by its rules and defer to its requirements, you will lead a pretty fantastic life.
As I read through this I find many similarities in the way the middle class urban ethos as a common thread there in Princeton and here in India. That a 10th class kid weak at academics is branded a lose for life – schools, teachers, parents, friends, by almost everyone. The amount of emphasis that is laid on achievement – sometimes rather unjustifiably on education. And sometimes I see parents who just wouldn’t let their children go – handholding them, precautions and instructions, what to eat, not to eat, drive or not to. Where education is seen as a sure way of insuring your future life and a job as the best way to a perfect mode to the ascend to social hierarchy. How blissfully naive and how realistically blind. At least entrepreneurship has taught me that much. How much that we lose for the cost of safety and security – the tradeoffs that are inherent in life.Breeding/creating a generation of yesmen. And finally the ambition of parents that is the same everywhere – their kids as drivers of their unaccomplished ambitions and wanting the best for their kids from the parent’s PoV.
I see change now, in the number of young folks wanting to take risks – sometimes bigger than they can afford to take, learning, falling and rising along the way.