What is disability ?
Not being able to do something due to some reason may be defined as “Disability” in my books. Many a time we restrict disabilities to physical ones. In today’s complex world, most of the disabilities are mental or emotional. Physical disability could be due to genetic reasons or due to accidents and so can mental disability be. In today’s complex world, with all the technologies at our command people find it easier to deal with physical disability but find it more challenging to deal with mental or emotional disabilities.
As parents, teachers and managers we find it difficult to identify and deal with these disabilities. Let us start at home. As parents, we do not recognise the stress and strain our kids undergo today and their limited ability to deal with the same. Many a time, we deal with such issues only when it manifests itself in the form of a physical or mental disease.
Similarly, our teachers are finding it difficult to deal with the emotional needs of their students. Most of the time teachers are not able to spot the emotional trauma of students due to the competitive landscape of the academic world today. By the time, it is spotted, it could be too late.
The workplace is no different. The manager has to deal with employees of multiple hues. Although there is more technology to enable relationships and networking at the work place, we find that technology is not able to deal with conflicts and emotional stress. Thus managers, who fail to sense emotional discomfort amongst their team members are not able to provide the necessary support.
All this means that as parents, teachers and managers, we have an additional responsibility today. We have to be better listeners and proactive in dealing with our kids, students and team members. We should be able to sense any emotional strain in our wards much before it manifests itself as a disease and provide the necessary emotional support so that the younger generation can cope with this better.
Today, many people in the world feel lonely in spite of hundreds of friends on social media. We have a duty to bridge the gap between the virtual affection bestowed by friends and well wishers and the real needs of love and care of our new generation.
S Ramesh Shankar