Pic.: Alwyn Mathias
“Try to give my son the strength, not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting into the bandwagon.”
- Abraham Lincoln in the letter to his son’s school teacher
Some days ago, a young lady came to take my advice. Her husband, who works for a multi-national, is a hard-working, self-made man. She has been looking after the house and their two sons. The ten-year-old elder-son goes to a very reputed ICSE-Board school. (For which, they had to shell out a massive donation… and, whose annual fees is already eating up a big chunk of their single-person salary!). The younger-son is about to start his school.
The lady’s dilemma is: “Sir, my second son has got admission in so-and-so SSC-Board school (a very good school) where we do not have to pay any donation, and whose fees are affordable... We have, also, got admission for him in so-and-so ICSC-Board school where we have to pay a donation of so-many lakhs. I really do not know what to do now... We do not have that kind of money; at the same time, my worry is… Would my second son miss out something in life if we enroll him for the SSC-Board school?”
The lady and her husband, both, had done their studies through SSC-Board schools. So, I asked the lady, “Does your husband think, that he has missed out something in life?”
“Sir, on the other contrary, he is against paying such ‘vulgar’ donations just to enroll in an ICSE or any such schools,” the lady was quick, “He gives his own example.”
“Then, why should you feel anxious, ma’am?” I asked the lady… I added, “Get over your anxiety and insecurity… Trust your instincts, trust the kind Universe, trust in your child and enroll him in the SSC-Board school where he has got the admission on merit. It is not the kind of school he goes to which will decide his fate… It is the kind of values and outlook he will own.”
The young college-kids who come to me to learn come from all these Boards – SSC, ICSE, CBSE, IB and all kinds. I have been observing them very closely and wondered: Has the so-called ‘superior Board’ really made the difference in them when it came to values and outlook? Has every one, who was fortunate to go through it, ‘shone’ in life? What is the extra-edge that a young-one can boast of as compared to his SSC-counterpart?
“There is nothing your child is going to miss out in life if he doesn't’ attend these ‘Big-Board’ schools, rest assured,” I keep advising whoever comes to me with anxiety. “What makes your child stand out is the fire in his or her belly to stand out!”
The young lady, who had come to seek my advice, had to deal with her own insecurity and anxiety about life. “It will take time, I know,” Abraham Lincoln had written in the letter to his son’s teacher, “but, teach him if you can, that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found!”
Now, to which Board did Lincoln belong? Which school of thought was that?