Introduction As Indians, we are habituated to several habits. If kept to the bare minimum of time, some habits are okay. Everything goes wrong only when the activity traps become unmanageable. Five of such very important activity traps are a) Being overly religious b) Aimlessly spending hours on gossip with friends c) Obsession with social media d) Spending maximum time on watching movies and
e) Taking too much interest in personal affairs of other people/celebrities. Each of these is real activity traps that can simply eat all our time, even without our knowledge. We better watch out on these activity traps and take action immediately.
Being overly religious This is one big activity trap. Nowhere has it been written that we should pray to God for five hours per day. Yet, it is so common to find hundreds of families spending endless hours on some Pooja or the other in some temple, sometimes as much as one hundred kilometers from where one lives. Some astrologer would have directed the couple to offer "special pooja". Immediately, the couple rushes to the temple and do the Pooja. On day two, it is another temple. And so on. If their son or daughter is without a child, this becomes very serious. The parents visit as many as fifty temples. The best outcome is that the temple pandits get to earn some money. That is all. They do not even understand that modern medicine is so advanced today. The miracle cure or solution never happens. This activity trap should be avoided at all cost. Divine intervention can only help to some extent. If there are physical defects and the couple can never hope to get a child, the best thing is to legally adopt a child and nurse the child in all ways. In fact, many educated parents do exactly this.
Aimlessly spending hours on gossip with friends Outside of every school or college, one can find at least four guys with their bikes, and fashionably dressed and the mandatory cooling glasses. They would anything they could do to attract girls. There are times when they do not succeed. However, the art of attracting girls goes on endless gossip for hours together. There is absolutely no purpose and most these youth are either unemployed or employed in contractual jobs. They would spend some money on their girlfriends and these girls are also exposed to the bad effects of social media and films, fall into some trap or the other. What starts off as just some money for recharge assumes bigger proportions and ends up in tragic events. The girls can be badly exploited too. They often are. Such gossip and associated activities should never be encouraged. For the unemployed, these are activity traps. They could easily spend their time more meaningfully by trying to acquire some skill and taking up some employment. Housewives, particularly in the villages and small towns, who are uneducated and unemployed, happily chat for hours. This gossip is ridiculous. Only education can reduce the magnitude of this problem. Some good advice by the elders can help a great deal in this regard. Those who are on contractual jobs can easily find regular ones in other environments. For example, those with a good HR or Finance background can easily gather some vital experience and then shift their jobs towards those in cement or paper or sugar or heavy chemical industries in remote locations. These companies provide free accommodation and are very good for regular jobs. If the person is talented, he or she is never kept on contract.
Obsession with social media The Obsession with "likes" on Facebook and Twitter is another huge obsession. Many call it a "kick". The more precise problem with this "kick" is that it consumes huge time and even without the knowledge of the person, the time is gone. The time that should have been usefully spent on building skills. like learning a foreign language or typing or basic computing skills, even if the child is just 14 years old, is a must. Parents should look for opportunities in this regard. A family that is known to this author, would pack off their son and daughter to the residence of the father's brother, during every summer holiday, to Chennai. Since the family was then based in Tiruchirapalli, the facilities to acquire the additional knowledge or skills were fairly inadequate two decades ago. (Today, they are far better, but still inadequate). The sixty days of summer vacation would be spent on learning swimming, cricket, music, painting, dancing, singing and what have you. One of the children went on to represent his school in cricket. For the plus two education, this boy was transferred to Chennai and went on to do his engineering at IIT, Madras, thanks to the exposure in Chennai. Parents have to seek for similar activities and wean away from their children from all bad social media. These are days when each family has some relative or the other in the metro city. Be that Pune or Hyderabad or Bangalore or New Delhi or Mumbai, the avenues to increase one's range of skills is very huge. The energy of every child needs to be channelized towards these activities and acquisition of skills.
Spending maximum time on watching moviesThe first day, first show obsession to watch movies at enormous cost ( the Rajnikant movies sell in the black market for as high as Rs.2000/- per ticket) is ridiculous. This obsession can be nailed if the parents take quick action and channelize the energies of the child on useful activities concerning the natural impulse and latent talent of the child. The obsession towards movies can be minimized by encouraging them to watch such movies on television. These are days when the super duper hits the television screens within six months. The children should also be encouraged to save small amounts of money, and they should know what is a savings account, a fixed deposit account and so on. If they are very knowledgeable, there is every chance that the children will come out of the obsession. However, the role of parents is very much vital here.
Taking too much interest in the personal affairs of other people/celebrities Want to know which actor has divorced her husband and is going strong with someone else? Want to know who is the richest film star and how the neighboring aunty is related to him or her? Answers to such questions engage the attention of most children. And even adults. In fact, the gossip pages of Tamil magazines are very famous for such stories. This is absolute rubbish. Precious time gets lost in the process. The parents and other elders in the family need to immediately intervene and give the children good advise. There is no point in having such useless interests. If the child learns the harsh realities of life and does not waste the money of either parent, he or she will soon come out of this activity trap. The wisest way of completely getting out of this habit is by setting a personal example. It is often observed that when the family is deeply religious and is able to jell well with the modern world in a traditional way, the vital balance is maintained. There should be a limit for everything and this useless activity trap should be totally avoided.
Conclusion Since the knowledge revolution is now on, and the emphasis is on acquiring skills of a very tall order to merely survive in a very competitive market, the dangers of getting into activity traps, as described above, should be known and corrective action should be immediately taken. The role of parents and elders is vital in this regard. Patience is key.
Again a very good write up by the author on an interesting subject. Any excessive attachment for a particular activity is not desirable. One should keep his life in his control. He should not get under the influence of certain actions. One of my friends starts shivering if he does not take a drink by 9 PM in the night. He can't survive without that. It is very bad.
Some people show interest in carrying word from one man to the other. In between, they will change the matter to their benefit also. It is of no use. One day or the other, when those two people talk directly with each other, the true colour of the person will come out. So one should not indulge in such activities.