Friday, July 10, 2015

WHEN THE WEIGHT AROUND YOUR HEART FALLS...








Pic.: Pradeep Nanda


“A sense of blessedness comes from a change of heart,

not from more blessings.”


I had lost my cool with two my students, this morning. And, they knew pretty well why. They had been repeatedly reminded in hundred different words… they were told this lovingly, gently, sternly and even angrily… not to continue with what they did. It was in their best interest, that they had to behave properly, change their ways… But, the change was not happening… The old habits had rooted so hard, that it was really difficult for them die!

So, today, when I saw the ‘desease’ getting worse, I decided to treat it with a strong dose of my bitter medicine. I brought the roof down… “It was now or never,” I said, “Look, it is still the starting of your academic year. So, let me see if I can do something about it now… There is no point regretting over it at the end of the year.”

Well, I know one thing very clearly. That, if at all those two students of mine wanted to change their behavior, they would do so on their own terms, as per their own will and wish. I, also, knew one more thing. That, force or fear never, actually, worked, though, on the surface, it may appear so. Suppressing someone through authority was no solution to inspire discipline…

Yes, I have been, and I still am, a great advocate of change by ‘an appeal to one’s heart’. Love, trust and true care and concern alone inspire the desire in one’s heart to change. But, it is easier said than done… It calls for loads of patience… and persistence, too. It calls for that dogged endurance in us not to give up our hope, not to give up on those who really care for.

Thus, this morning, when I had lost my cool and blasted at my two students - left, right and centre, I had, indeed taken the risk… It was a kind of brahmastra, the final weapon.  But, because I knew from where it was coming and why I was doing it… because I really, really, really cared for them – I had no fear of losing them at all. I knew, that it would work…

It did. I could see it, feel it…

But then, after the class, when they had left the room, I called all of them, including the two young-ones, back. “Please sit down for two more minutes,” I said, “I want to tell you something very important.”  I told them this: “If you really feel, your teacher has been hurt and he has lost his cool, and if you really want to go home with peace - you should stay back, meet him, say sincerely ‘sir, I am really sorry… I won’t repeat the mistake.”

The faces of my students wore an honest feeling of realization. “If you go home without making peace, it will weigh over your hearts… It is not good for your confidence… You have to finish it off here itself. Own up your mistakes, apologize… Make a promise not to repeat it… and, keep your promise. That’s the only way you will feel confident and peaceful in life.”

I had struck the chord…

The two students waited for me outside the class… looked straight into my eyes, yes with a feeling of honesty, and said, “Sir, we are sorry for hurting you; It won’t be repeated.”

Should I trust in those words?

I, already, have…

Did the weight fall off?

Mine did… And, my heart tells me, that my students’, too, did.


GERALD D’CUNHA

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