Monday, December 24, 2012

Letting the Little Brother Take The Wheel

In the 1920s, when cars were no longer slower than the average horses, allowing a teenager to drive was the last thing anyone would want.

It was a time where there was no rules or regulations to stop or teach them the ethics or safety of driving. Grown-ups were preoccupied with other things like politics, new inventions and disappointingly war.
World War 1 was reaching it's starting point, countries were racing to develop the better technology, the stronger tanks and the more destructive weapons. Chaos was left and right all because some grown - up hated the other guy. 

Amidst all of this, It only took a 10 year old to drive his dad's latest invention and head crash into a pond that mankind realized: We are going too fast for our children.

If you played Mass Effect, there's a race of humanoid frogs (or specifically toads if you consider the warts on their bodies) called Krogans. They were a traditional- peaceful- old- bunch if you considered their history, until the Salarians( a really highly advanced salamander- type race) came and brought with them all the cool gizmos and techies you would believe a toad might want. 

Flying aircrafts that traveled faster than light, guns and shotguns that would splatter the insides of a human, medical advancements that would make you live to see your great- grandchildren and still be fit to have more. The Krogans just hit the jackpot towards advance technological development.
To make it a story (a sad one), eventually the krogans didn't used the gifts they were given with the best of conduct and ended up being betrayed by the very beings that equipped them with the technology. The Krogans were, to put it bluntly, were too fast in advancing in technology for there own benefit and ended up abusing it. 

At the turning point of the 21st century, man, or more accurately man's children are advancing in science and technology to a point were we grown- ups can't keep up with our children. Incredibly, it has come to a point where we as adults don't and might never will know all the answers or solutions to the problems and questions we or our children ponder upon thanks to the exponential advancements in science and technology.
Fattah driving rexton
This brings me to the topic of my blog(finally). When my little brother, Fattah asked me whether he could drive my 4-wheel drive Rexton, from Shah Alam to KL, during the peak hours of high way jam, saying yes was not an option. Maybe next time I said.
When the time did came (which was just the following week) I was freaking out. There wasn't that much traffic thou, still, when a complete beginner starts driving a colossus vehicle 100 kph on the high way, who wouldn't be freaking out? I was holding onto my seat for dear life.

Remember the story about the 10-year- old who drove a car and crashed? The reason of the crash wasn't because the father was a bad parent or he forgot where he placed the keys, it was simply because the child had learned a set of skills not common during those times: hot wiring a car. The child as it seemed was moving faster than his father.
The turning of the 21st century has made us realize that as grown- ups (or to say people with responsibility) we are no longer the ones who knows all the answers. No longer are we the textbook- with- answers or the map- with- directions or the all- knowing- quest- givers when we ourselves are on a hard quest of or own.

While my little brother was driving, he asked me what happens when he presses certain buttons or changes a gear. To be honest, I don't have the slightest idea (maybe some crazy fantasy of the car changing into a robot), we tried pressing it anyway out of curiosity. Surprisingly nothing out of the ordinary happened (as I soon realized the button we pressed was suppose to cleanse all the bad odor in the car).

It's time to realize now that, our role has now shifted. We are now quest-seekers, helping out the next generation with finding the answers and at the same time teaching ourselves. We have to realize and to a certain extent,  trust  them in making those hard choices.

Don't get me wrong,  I'm not asking parents to allow their 10 year old to drive a car. Remember the story I told about the Krogan's? Their technology was faster than what they could comprehend.

In this 21st century we need to change our attitude towards development,  sit back and really think: where are we really heading? It was simpler in the past when our objectives were survival, population control, making our lives more productive and what not, but it has changed now since we are in a more relaxed state, food is easily purchased, medication easily obtained and fun literally happens everywhere.

We need to change our perception. Rather than looking at the end we should focus more on the journey. Rather than collecting Noble prizes for new inventions, what about finding better and ethical ways of using the invention we already have. Rather than finding ways to get better internet connection, why don't we think about what we useful things we could do with those limited internet connection. Rather than thinking on how to be an engineer or a doctor or any occupation for that matter, why don't we think about how to be a better person, a better me, because even we will never know, whether there will be engineers or doctors or it's just some brand new occupation all together.

In order to best move forward, we need to start living, really living in the present.

As my little brother drove in front of our house and parked the car snugly in the garage, I couldn't helped but smile at how "adult - like" my little brother handled everything. It was a job well done and I gave him assurance that next time he could drive me to the hospital if I ever got sicked. He told me that I was acting like a child while he was driving, goofing all over like the worlds going to end. I smiled at him and thought that if I have been any more "adult-like" I don't think any child would be able to keep up.

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This post was intended for my little brother Fattah, whom turned 18, an official adult, on the 12th of December 2012. He always acted cool and "adult - like", so to make sure he was never too ahead of himself, I would always act as the naughty kid. I wish him the best of days ahead in this ever changing world as an adult.