Sunday, May 15, 2011

Teacher's Day 2011

Are we doing proud to our teachers?

More than forty years ago when I was in school, one day I went up to my class teacher and told him that I wanted to relinquish my post as the class monitor as some of my classmates refuse to listen to me and take orders from me. After listening to be very attentively m teacher called me aside and told me, “Young man there is no problem, you can relinquish you post but what will you do one day when your own children refuse to listen to you? Will you relinquish your 'post' as their father?” I was stunned for an answer.I realized what he was trying to tell me and I decided to continue as the class monitor which I began to manage better with some guidance from guidance.

I am sure all of us who are in our fifties and sixties had such teachers with towering personalities who went out of their way to do the little extra that we needed at some crucial time in our lives. That little extra sacrifice by them went a long way to mold our thinking on the many issues that we faced in our lives later. To these teachers the color of our skin and the faith that we professed did not matter; all that mattered was that we were their students whom they were tasked to transform into responsible citizens.

Some of these great teachers may be still around, some terminally ill but many would have died by now. However regardless where they are and how they may be, their wise words and exemplary deeds remain vividly in our hearts and minds till today. Often when we get together with old classmates after many years we tend to relive those pleasant memories of our teachers.At that time we could have disliked what they said or did but looking back after all these years we realize the wisdom of what they did then.

Today we are terribly disturbed by what is happening around us. In a highly consumerist society that is so competitive and materialistic, we tend to be driven by greed and selfishness with little or no empathy for those who are desperate and unjustly treated. What we were taught as school children, to uphold as right does not seem to be relevant anymore but what we were told detest as wrong appears to have become right. We are unsure where we are leading.

Corruption and power abuse are becoming rampant and are slowly being accepted as norms. Racial and religious bigotry is threatening the peace and harmony that we enjoyed all these years, which we took for granted. To what extend do we contribute to these healthy, at times dangerous, developments around us? We may be in positions of power and yield considerable influence on those below us but are we doing the right things in society as taught by our great teachers of the past?

It is timely on this Teacher’s Day to pause and reflect how we have contributed to this decline in values in our society. Are we doing proud to the towering teachers who took great pains to ensure that we turn out to be useful and responsible citizens? If we are then let’s continue to strengthen and disseminate the spirit of that righteousness around us. If we are not then it is time to make amends to make them proud.

Happy Teacher’s Day

May God bless all teachers and make them committed to instill the values of humanity in our children.

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