Passing The Baton

They’ve taught us the languages, theories and formulae we know today, nurtured us during those lengthy hours we were away from our homes, and were unsparing when we didn’t submit our homework on time. Teachers leave an indelible imprint on our lives. Ever heard the saying ‘be cruel to be kind’? That’s what our teachers were doing when we were still juvenile and ignorant of the life that lay outside the walls of the classroom. We do owe them a great deal for being tough on us.

Today, while we take some time off from our frantic schedules to wish them on WhatsApp or leave heartfelt messages on their Facebook walls, let us sincerely realize how fortunate we’ve been to have learned what we did from them. Not everybody has had the same opportunity and exposure.  Education isn’t merely the math formulas and historical dates we’re made to memorize, but also the more subtle and crucial life skills learned in the process, like the ability to think on your feet and take your own decisions. And one can only learn this ‘art of learning’ by a teacher who sets a good example.

Sadly, our country has a lot to catch up on in this regard. It was astonishing to read about Gurmeet Ram Rahim persuading 400 men to get castrated! That’s a staggering 400 men who lacked the ability to think logically, to reason, to question authority. Despite being found guilty of rape, millions still refuse to believe Ram Rahim is at fault. These millions failed to obtain guidance from the right ‘teacher’. Instead, what they got (and to our dismay, accepted) was a self-proclaimed guru releasing ludicrous movies in the theatres! The Indian Express ranked him 96 on their list of 100 most powerful Indians of 2015. How are we allowing power to flow in the hands of such criminals? Why have we let a rape convict become a ‘guru’ to millions?

All of us might not have grown up to create the degree of impact that professors do in a classroom full of students, but that does not stop us from passing on the baton of our knowledge to the next generation – to our peers, to our families, and even to strangers. Acts as simple as donating a book you love to an underprivileged teen, encouraging your younger siblings to carve their own niche, or sharing something awesome you found on the internet with the rest of your team members, can leave a substantial impression, almost a beautiful ripple effect.

Remember, unadulterated learning begins beyond the confines of classroom walls. That’s the real battlefield. The world is in need of something you might have to offer. Make it worth their while.

BlogPersis Shah