Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bane of Sabha - Boredom

The academic, who has previously studied the impact of television and videos on children's writing, said: "When children have nothing to do now, they immediately switch on the TV, the computer, the phone or some kind of screen. The time they spend on these things has increased.
"But children need to have stand-and-stare time, time imagining and pursuing their own thinking processes or assimilating their experiences through play or just observing the world around them." 
It is this sort of thing that stimulates the imagination, she said, while the screen "tends to short circuit that process and the development of creative capacity".
This applies to our sabha as well. When kids are bored at the Mandir now, they have a phone or gadget they can turn on and tune out the boredom. Kids misbehave, want to go to the bathroom, don't want to go to the Mandir, in general are apathetic - because they are bored and not engaged.  If they have a phone or an iGadget of some sort, then problem solved. But only in the short term. Taking away the gadget does not solve the problem of lack of engagement. Having the gadget be used while the boring stuff gets done also does not solve the problem of lack of engagement. Only engaging this group solves this problem.

A leader once told us, "I will work with the people who will work with me." Implying that it did not matter that the people around him were not focused on engaging the disengaged. As long as he was able to get along with his working group, and there was an influx of people in the Mandir (through immigration) everything would work out. Implicit in this line of thinking is the lack of importance given to engaging the disengaged. It is implicitly stating that we don't really care about the bored kids at the Mandir. We don't really care about the disenfranchised. We will give a few resources but not really focus on this issue. It is too difficult for us. It requires too much change.

By making sabha engaging we are putting our resources to changing this attitude that many implicitly have. We are forcing a change at the local / grass roots level. We are stating explicitly that the we care about the bored kids, who are bright and have an affinity for Satsang and Bapa. We are not solving the problem with an iBandaid.

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