Friday, October 17, 2008

Spare the rod…

Social attitudes are changing, fine. But I am appalled at the fact that teachers are not getting the respect they deserve. Teachers are the backbone of a society. During my school days, if I made a mistake and the teacher punished me, my father would not only thank the teacher, but also request him/her to be more strict with me. But look at a contradiction. A teacher was taking lessons at a Mumbai coaching institute, when a girl repeatedly disturbed the class. The angry instructor reprimanded the girl, and after repeated warnings failed, asked her to leave. Lo and behold, next day, the teacher was sacked by the institute. “Parents are complaining that you are too strict,” was all that the teacher was told.
What a shame! If I had the powers, I would force all parents to read the letter Abraham Lincoln wrote to a teacher.
Please, please, this
Excerpts from Lincoln's letter to his son's teacher

He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish Politician, there is a dedicated leader... Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,
Steer him away from envy,if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick... Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books... But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside.
In the school teach him it is far honourable to fail than to cheat... Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong... Teach him to be gentle with gentle people, and tough with the tough.
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon...
Teach him to listen to all men... but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through.
Teach him if you can, how to laugh when he is sad... Teach him there is no shame in tears, Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness... Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders but never to put a price-tag on his heart and soul.
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he's right. Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel. Let him have the courage to be impatient... let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will have sublime faith in mankind.
This is a big order, but see what you can do... He is such a fine fellow, my son!

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