MESSAGE - PRINCIPAL
Dreams stand realized if they are worthy of pursuance not just by the dreamer, but the multitudes who stand to benefit from that dream. If we can turn every student who comes our way into a leader who can make a difference, into a world citizen without biases – we will have done our bit.
To be that world citizen tomorrow, children today need to be independent, and Independence is an attitude – a state of mind. If you are always judging people, you are not independent. If a person’s surname registers in your mind before his first name, you are not independent. If you notice a person’s colour before you notice her smile, you are not independent. If you are Indian, and you like another person just because he is also Indian – you are not independent. If you refuse to consider someone’s opinion just because she is younger, you are not independent. If we can help young minds steer clear of all such imagined boundaries – we will have done our bit.
To be that leader and change agent tomorrow, children today need to be able to think and decide for themselves, and back up those decisions with reason and self belief. Freud said long ago – “ The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man wants the world to adapt to him. Therefore all change, and all progress, is brought about by the unreasonable man.” If we can facilitate our little dreamers in their journey towards being that unreasonable man – we will have done our bit.
To make that difference tomorrow, children today need to take small but sure steps to the next level. This is what we support students with. Support, not lead, because if we keep leading, students will get into the habit of following – and that can be very limiting. Those who find it difficult to walk without holding on to something will find our hands – till they get to the next level – that of walking alongside us without holding our hands. Those who can walk without support but are not confident of walking alone will find us walking beside them – till they get to the next level – that of being able to walk alone, and walk ahead. If we manage to make students reach a stage where we become unnecessary and redundant – we would have done our bit.
One fine day, I was standing on the pavement, trying to cross the street. Behind me, a music shop was playing Beethoven’s ninth symphony. Ahead of me, a stray dog was being run over by a car. Tears streamed down my face. A passer-by patted my back, appreciating my concern. And he passed on-- before I could tell him that it was the music that made me cry.
Does that mean I don’t care ? No. It simply means that excellence moves me more than incidence- that human genius touches me more than human mistakes. Fallibility is a burden all of us have to live with. We shoulder the burden better if we can, once in a rare while, create something infallible.
Like a student who does not unlearn any of the ‘foolish’ ideals we impart, even when life and people around him leave him with no reason to continue believing in them.
Like a student who continues to carry with her the ‘values’ she imbibes during her schooldays – even when the world around her accords her the status of a relic.
Like students who value what is being said more than who is saying it.
So there I was, in the middle of a mundane day, shedding cathartic tears for a work of art that cleansed my soul. And looking for that certain something in myself that would help me pass on the best of me to the children I teach – and allow the rest of me , even with the fallibilities, to stand tall. If I could remain humane enough to keep on doing that – I would have done my bit.
Indus International School, Pune.