The Man on the Stage

“Teachers to assemble in the MPH for a workshop on Cyber Safety.” This is one issue which I strongly feel about. Of course Abhay had been instrumental in pointing my mind in this direction because he always believed that we could not keep technology away and the best step forward was to embrace it and safeguard against the pitfalls.
So, I went with much enthusiasm looking forward to know something new. There he was, a kid in ripped jeans, leather jacket and sneakers, tinkering with the laptop. Just the right person was my first thought.
Shubham and I always discuss this. His usual comment is that when older people talk about cyber safety they don’t connect with the millennials and gen Z because we usually know more than them. He feels that when a youngster like him says that PUBG is not for them, the kids connect and are willing to pay heed because they are the same age and speak from experience, not by Googling about it. Point!
We all gathered and waited for the kid to get up and start. The fellow introduced himself and talked about how he had a YouTube video which he requested us to watch and without elaborating further on the video went ahead to discuss the thing he had come to talk about.The kid was knowledgeable, knew how to connect but I was not amused because I knew most of the stuff, thanks to a geek kid in Shubham.  But was impressed enough to think that he might be able to guide Shubham in his quest for a career in gaming. So, I went to talk to him in person. He was more than willing to not only talk but gave his number and offered to call Shubham and talk to him. His demeanor was confident yet polite and he came across as a well behaved sweet child.
I went home and checked his video of which I’m sharing a link here:
The video has Lokesh Pawar reciting a poem penned by him about his personal experience of being abused as a child. I must say I was deeply moved. Having worked with Childline while I was active in Inner Wheel, the issue of child abuse is one thing I strongly feel about. It is the elephant in the room who nobody wants to acknowledge and everybody is more than willing to push under the carpet. Knowledge is the key that can safeguard our children. We need to address the issue proactively. Most of us watched the video but did not have the heart to even acknowledge that such things are prevalent in our society. And here was a kid who had the guts to come out and speak openly about it and also try to make other children aware of the dangers they may come across from their own people while also updating them about cyber safety. I’ve seen him gelling with children, talking about abuse while keeping his focus on cyber safety and he is really good at it.
I feel that this kid in his early twenties is more Man than the many I know. Why? Because being a Man has nothing to do with the years one has been on the earth nor the gender he is born with. To be a man, is how one receives and reacts to a challenge that life throws at him. It is the only thing that decides whether one has become a man or still needs to grow up.

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