Saturday, August 1, 2009

Titles, labels and designations

On this Sunday morning, I was sitting with my family – wife, son and daughter. It started with reading the zodiac signs for the week amidst a lot of interpretations and laughter. I saw a visiting card wherein the name of the person and his company and his designation were printed. This started our discussions which I am writing about.

I asked my son and daughter what designations meant to them. We then talked about what designations each of us would like to have printed on our cards. My daughter Bittu said ‘President -’, and added she was not too happy since it would last only till she decided to call it a day with the Company. My son, Shashank, however, interjected and said that it has to do something ‘with our own life’. He then stated he liked for himself the designation – ‘President – My Own Life’, thus reaching Maslow’s top level of the ‘Needs Hierarchy’. My wife and I were amazed at the generation of thoughts by our little ones. My wife exclaimed ‘Oh! today’s children’ when again my daughter butted in to say ‘Why have designations at all? We are what we are’.

This of course! left me with a thought whether titles, labels and designations were all about identity and our search for it. Pondering over this, I hit upon what the great psychologist Erikson had to say. Erikson talked about examining the following for some resolution:

Do you feel consistent in your self-image and the image you present to others?
Role Experimentation
Have you tried different roles in search of the one that feels right to you?
Anticipation of Achievement
Do you believe that you will be successful in what you choose to do -- whether your role is at the work front or home front?
Gender Identity
Do you feel comfortable being a male or a female, and dealing with others as such?
Leadership Polarization
Are you able to become both a leader and a follower, whichever is called for in a given situation?
Ideological Values
Have you found a set of basic social, philosophical, or religious values that your outlook on life can be based upon?

All these left me wondering and wiser. Thanks Shashank and Bittu.


sujata said...

kids today really know what they want. I admire there clarity of thought. I was a confused-to-the-core person in my younger days. But now, I think I am comfortable in my own self and my self image and the image I project have minimum contradictions. I liked this post a lot.

Anu...:) said...

thought provoking...
‘Why have designations at all? We are what we are’.
this is undeniably a way

Anu...:) said...

thank you for visiting my blog :)

Kavi said...

Sir ! You seem to have some awesome conversation going.

Wonderful !


Sylvia K said...

Great post, as always and I love the conversation with your children! It is interesting that we can frequently learn from our children and they can give us a different perspective.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

this was a great learning post for me. Your conversation and subsequent introspection opened my eyes to a lot of things. thanks.

DebraLSchubert said...

"President - My Own Life" Flipping brilliant. Your kids are lucky to have you and to be able to engage in such heady conversations. This really is the stuff of life.;-)

Vivek Patwardhan said...

Brilliant post. I do share your thoughts and feel that the children are displaying great maturity and intelligence.

[In lighter vein] A person known to me was designated 'General Manager - Works'. When he mentioned it to our common mischievous friend, he asked whether it was designation or a sentence!


Anrosh said...

the kid always has an answer - and insightful -- jara haat ke,. no wonder kids are using internet more optimally than adults and are changing the world ..bit by bit. it is not adults, it is always kids