“There may be fairies, there may be elves;
but God helps those who help themselves.”
- Stephen King
In a few days from now, the Board exams of my twelfth-standard students will take place. And, as usual, more than my students, their parents – particularly the moms – are stressed out… anxious… worried! *Mohit, for example, has kept his mom on gas for last two/three months… He has skipped my two Prelims… In the college Prelims, he has fared very badly… Because his father gets very wild and uncontrollable while dealing with him, it has been decided to keep him out of the war-zone… It is only the mother and the son. “Sir, he now feels he has no confidence… When I was screaming all these months, he was deaf… Now he is desperate!”
Mohit’s mom and I are on the same page… Our gentle and angry words had always fallen on the deaf ears… Now, when it is too late, what can a teacher or parent do?
However frustrating this experience can be, Life has the capacity of guiding these ‘Late Bloomers’… Boys and girls, even far worse than Mohit, have been guided by the Providence in its own time… There are factors beyond the domain of our logic and efforts… call it destiny, luck or Providence… as long as a man and woman have a strong desire to find a place for self… I think, the rest will be taken care of…
Mohit is not interested in the stream he has opted… He cannot connect his studies with his talents, strengths and skills… His heart isn’t there in it, at all… How can he find motivation to work hard, if his heart isn’t there in what he is doing…? If he cannot set goals?
But, I still tell parents, “Don’t worry sir/ma’am, they will find a place for themselves… We just need to trust and have loads of patience.”
“But, sir, what if they fail?” they ask me this question, invariably and understandably.
“It will be a temporary setback… a failure in one of the exams," I reassure them, "It will not be a failure in life!”
“That’s true sir… Still…” Parents are stressed out, anxious and worried!
“Suddenly, Mohit has started visiting temples,” his mother told me this morning, “That temple and this temple… He thinks God will help him now… Sankat mein Venkat!”
True, God helps only those who help themselves. They also say, God helps those who ‘cannot’ help themselves’ and not those who ‘do not’ help themselves.”… Yes, there is a difference between those who cannot help themselves and those who do not help themselves…
So, all those who haven't found their callings in life, take heart, God still helps… because, they need His grace as far as discovering their passions are concerned… Till then, teachers like me and moms like Mohit’s have to have trust and patience… and wait!
I just came across this beautiful confession of Priyanka Chopra. It perfectly suits this discussion. She says:
“I’m lucky. I don’t know whether I’m deserving or not. All I know is that I work damn hard for everything and God helps those who help themselves. Every day is like an exam. I believe Destiny and hard-work go hand in hand. I was studying to be an engineer when my mom and brother sent my picture for the Miss India contest… I didn’t even know about it. If that isn’t Destiny, what is?”
Can anyone send Mohit’s picture – maybe something else – to the right mailbox?
Who knows what lies ahead for Mohit?