Saadia's Side: Little Humans Ape Us, Day In and Out

Saadia's Side: Little Humans Ape Us, Day In and Out

Adults have a huge impact on children’s lives. Here is a personal account that talks about the responsibility that comes with it.

Most of us have had role models while growing up. They can range from famous celebrities to even people within our own household especially our parents. As children, we are inspired by these people to the extent that we want to become the carbon copies of our role models. Many of us young girls have tried mum’s lipstick and put on her heels when mum went to sleep. Young boys are eager to have toy cars because they want to imitate their fathers who drive them everywhere. In the case of celebrities, it becomes a little difficult but still doable.

I sought light in the adults around me

As a child, I always found my role models in different people. For example, I greatly admired one of my aunts who was well versed on every topic and knew the art of conversation. I loved the way she walked confidently in high pencil heels and could be heard from a distance. When she was around, I would only look at her in awe.

Her room was my childhood wonderland

There was a senior girl who lived in our neighbourhood and was the daughter of our family friends. Every time we went to their place, she would take me to her room and give me a pencil and sketchbook to draw anything I liked. I would look at her clothes and room in awe. She had a great inclination towards art and her room was my childhood wonderland; filled with unusual and artistic pieces that gave a ten-year-old fodder for the imagination.

She would flip her hair every time anyone asked a question

Then there was a young and bubbly teacher in our school who taught Maths. Soft-spoken and always polite, I loved how she flipped her hair every time anyone of us in the class asked her a question and she turned to the blackboard to make it clear to us.

He had a tough exterior but a mushy interior

I also looked up to my father with great awe. Although he was a strict disciplinarian who did not spare his children even if they ate too much in front of the guests, he was soft and mushy from the inside. Inside dad’s tough exterior, there lived a vulnerable and deeply emotional man whose heart was filled with love and warmth. My dad was fond of dressing well and always smelled great. He was greatly respected among the relatives and the neighbourhood. Everyone looked up to dad for advice on important matters. I wanted to become like him and sit in the drawing-room with everyone listening to me.

I would imitate them all without knowing what I was doing

As a little girl, I had no idea of who I was or what I wanted to be. I had these elders whom I aspired to be like when I grew up. Till that time, the only option that I had was to imitate them until one day I could turn out to be like them.

I carry bits and pieces of all of them

Time passed. I am my own person today. But I still have little bits of all those whom I looked up to; maybe not in the best possible ways but I carry them all with me wherever I go.

Tables turned when I became a teacher

My first job was teaching in a school. I taught for nearly five years in a school and later in university. While my university students were mature and quite independent in their thinking, the school students were still empty slates. They were young enough not be inhibited by the thought of expressing their love for a teacher who had just joined in. While I derived utmost satisfaction from teaching the young minds, now when I still come across my students here and there in different parts of the world I realize I left my marks with them.

The tables turned. Two decades ago, I was a child in awe of the adults around me trying to imitate them in her childish ways. Now I was the adult impacting many young minds around me. The children were transparent enough to say it out loud and clear.

We all have our role to play in the lives of the little humans around us

We often forget that all of us affect people around us in one way or the other. Every deed we do in life affects those surrounding us in its own unique way. Little do we remember that the ones who are impacted the most by our being are the young humans who might be taking us as their role models. Sometimes we might not even know but the little children are copying us, trying to become like us even before they grow up. At times, we would find out. At times, we would not.

I do not want to sound preachy by urging you to become saints overnight for the sake of the children around you. But maybe sparing a thought about the responsibility we hold as adults towards the children who would be shaping the world we live in today might become our contribution to the world we leave for the future generations. No matter how little we think of ourselves, in reality, we all have a role to play in this world. Sometimes, it is not deliberate. It is through the little humans around us. 

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By Saadia Ahmed
Saadia Ahmed is a Bollywood and cheesecake fanatic with no obvious interest in space travel. She tweets @khwamkhwah day in and out