Freedom Writers is a great movie to watch. This is one of the inspiration-genre movies based on true stories that tell the tale of how one person, despite all the obstructions ‘n’ barriers, makes a difference in li’l world around her/him. FW is inspired by the book The Freedom Writers Diary based on a true story of Erin Gruwell, a teacher who goes on to adapt to her new divided-on-colour-&-creed class and inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school and turn their hatred against each other into love. She uses some out-of-box unorthodox techniques to convince her students, she even goes against some rules of the school to achieve her goal. I ain’t gonna tell u the whole story or else those who haven’t watched may lose the interest while halfway down the flick.
The things that I learnt from FW were that a truly dedicated teacher can really make a difference, and if the youngsters are given the blessing to think out loud many problems can be solved, and this society can be a better place. I just wonder how many teachers in our purified & greener part of the world have really been sincere in delivering true values and making a difference wherever & whenever needed, and if they have ever allowed their students to express their inner feelings and rediscover themselves. Answer can be a big NO, I’m sure. The teachers have been following ages old a fixed, habitual, and mechanical way of schooling, sheer rote learning.
Its not only the teachers, but our parents and elders are also proud to keep a tight rein on our brains. Ours has been an upbringing wherein we’ve been trained not to speak our hearts open to the teachers, elders and the so-called ‘authorized’ & ‘powerful’ people, let alone speaking the truth and questioning what they tell us. Even we are taught by our moms during our infant days ‘beta bado ko jawab nhi dete’ [don’t question the elders, honey]. Yes, respecting the elders & teachers are one of greatest values of our culture and we are proud to have ‘em, but this also holds true that ‘to get respect, you gotta give it’, ‘cos respect is a two-way street, but it starts with you. Give us the respect that you would like to be given. Learning is an on-going process, as we grow up we learn to take care of ourselves and that’s what growing up is all about. We should be given an appropriate amount of freedom and independence, but with responsibility that we shall be responsible for our own actions. Taare Zameen Par was a very good portrayal of parents état d’esprit.
Oh yes, we also have social taboos too, things that we can never talk about. Parents hardly talk to their kids about drugs, sex, porn, smoking, drinking, dating et al ‘cos they’re afraid that this will be a turn-off rather than a resolution of the issues. We are hardly let live our life the way we want it. We all have issues that must be cleared before we can become all that we were meant to be which is all that lies secreted within us as part of our divine potential. The stereotypical us may be dramatic, ignorant, and weak amongst other things. Or so, this is the way we are perceived by seniors, but we think more about the way we feel, than the way we are perceived. We become what we are made to be.