Archive for February, 2008


February 24th, 2008 -- Posted in General | 5 Comments »

I believe friendship is the most genuinely humane relationship of which we are capable. To be understood and appreciated for oneself is a vital experience in life, strengthening our will to live in seen and unseen ways. Friendship multiplies by many times the amount of value we are able to create and experience in life. As the saying goes, friendship doubles our joy and halves our sorrows. Nothing brings deeper satisfaction or more lasting reward than the effort to be a true friend to another person.

From my experience, friendship is not a matter of the amount of time you spend with someone. Rather, it is a measure of the strength and depth of the spiritual resonance that arises between you. Many times, meeting someone for the first time, I have felt an indescribable sense of familiarity.

There are many different types of friendship. There are the people we simply feel comfortable and at ease being with. Even more precious however, in my view, are friendships that are based on a shared sense of purpose or commitment to a common cause. Friendship is tested and proven in adversity. Perhaps only those who have suffered truly demoralizing blows can fully appreciate the beauty of friendship.

Friendship is one of those parts of life that we at times take for granted. It rolls off of our tongues as if we expect it to be present in all areas of our lives. I hear our ‘friendship is forever’ or ‘friends always’ is a common thread that runs through our lives. But in truth how many true friendships do you have? Think for a moment and list those you feel are true friends and those with which you have a close relationship. Are they true friends? Is their friendship from the heart? How many people do you truly see as friends?

Friendship is a gift that two people give to each other. It is not an expected result of meeting but a true and unanticipated gift of enormous potential. True friends form a special connection that will weather any storm. True friends understand being human and give the other room to grow. True friends are there even when they are not expected to be present. True friends know and cherish each other’s gift.

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Education in the 21st century

February 20th, 2008 -- Posted in General | 1 Comment »

As we examine different national solutions to familiar issues in school and post-school education, including teaching methods, curricula and resourcing; the main focus remains on the ‘external’ challenges, which all educational systems must confront, above all globalization, the communications revolution and the changing nature of work. These challenges require education at successive stages in life and not just for the young; with the increasing rapidity of economic and social change ‘lifelong learning’ has become an almost universal slogan.

In an era of expanding choice and risk how can students be best equipped to lead the good life and the life of a citizen as well as that of a worker? What we teach is sometimes dictated to us. How we teach though, should never be dictated to us. Many have heard the term in relation to teaching students “Engage me or enrage me.” What can we do that will engage students and what can we make sure we do not do in order to avoid enraging them. Regarding the use of different technologies in the school,
1) The tools are not the things that have the power to change education, it is the teachers that have the passion and ability to use the tools effectively that will make the difference.
2) What is the tool we will be using in the future? Furthermore, should we be concerned with what the next gadget will be or should we simply utilize what we have today effectively?

I am still getting my head around the concept of students becoming more than just consumers of information but also becoming producers of information. As soon as they sense that they have the ability to have ownership of the information they embrace the change immediately. Students have more ideas on the ways the information can be produced than adults do.

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To Sir With Love

February 19th, 2008 -- Posted in General | 2 Comments »

‘To Sir with Love……..what can I give you in return……’ The words of these songs long echo in one’s ears reminding one of the classroom every September, this week marks an annual ritual of living vicariously.

I knew it the instant I walked into Mrs Ghosh’s  kindergarten class in DehraDun that   I’m going to be a teacher. There was something about that classroom that was so wonderfully exciting, so inviting, so safe. It wasn’t just the room, of course, but the warmth, enthusiasm and dedication of a brilliant teacher who greeted me as I cautiously peeked into that room for the first time.

It was a wonderful year! Behind every vivid memory there is the teacher who told us stories and taught us to tie our shoes, took us to the pond to see the tadpoles, and helped us learn how to share, put things away and wait for our turn. She provided a learning environment rich in colorful and stimulating resources and activities, and yet had the grace and patience to allow me to indulge my preoccupation with “singing songs” even when it was the only thing I wanted to do for weeks at a time. She handled the rare discipline problem with gentle good humor and managed to treat each of us as though we mattered more than anything in the entire world.

This is  a time when a former student’s thoughts can fill with memories of teachers who made lasting impressions. continue reading »

Dear Mom – A tribute to all the mothers

February 18th, 2008 -- Posted in General | 7 Comments »

“Mother carries the child in her womb for nine months and in her heart for the rest of her life”.

These few words sum up the meaning and significance of the word Mother. Mother is undoubtedly the most beautiful and lovable word in any language. This goes to show the importance of mother in our lives. Mother stands for millions of things she gives to her children; it also stands for sacrifices pain, grief and sorrows, which she has to undergo to keep her children happy and secure. No joy can match the joy of a mother looking at her child, those craving eyes-deeper than a whole ocean. The most important woman in an individual’s life is her/his mother. Her presence affects us our entire life and she can’t be replaced by anyone.

To understand Mother’s Day and what it really means, you need to understand the person in your life called ‘Mother’. Mother is one who nurtures you in her womb for nine months and brings you forth to enjoy the supreme blessing on earth, that is, Life. Mother is one who guides you through your infancy and turns the soft, helpless creature to the powerful and successful YOU. She is the guardian angel protecting you and supporting you, feeling for you and serving you silently always with a smile on her face. She prides herself watching you grow and provides you a shoulder to cry on whenever you need. She is every child’s best friend. continue reading »

The importance of ‘Thanking’

February 17th, 2008 -- Posted in General | 7 Comments »

I was wondering when was the last time I received a thank you note from someone….. When was the last time that you received a thank you note or letter? More important, when was the last time that you sent out a thank you note or told someone thank you! In our fast pace, high technology society – we tend to lose fact that a simple thank you letter or card can make all the difference to someone! I know that I personally love getting a thank you note in the mail.

It amazing the power of what thanking someone can do! The things that are easy to do are also the things that are easy not to do. The more the pace of our lives speed up the greater the impact the simple gestures of life will have on those most deserving of them. And near the very top of my list is the lost value of saying thank you.

Everyone loves getting mail…it’s a fact of human nature. We all have a deep-seated need to feel important. continue reading »


February 13th, 2008 -- Posted in General | 4 Comments »

Sex education needs to be an  integral part of the curriculum as it is about developing young people’s skills so that they make informed choices about their behavior, and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices.

Sex education that works starts early, before young people reach puberty, and before they have developed established patterns of behavior. The precise age at which information should be provided depends on the physical, emotional and intellectual development of the young people as well as their level of understanding.

It is important not to delay providing information to young people but to begin when they are young. Providing basic information provides the foundation on which more complex knowledge is built up over time. This also means that sex education has to be sustained. For example, when they are very young, children can be informed about how people grow and change over time, and how babies become children and then adults, and this provides the basis on which they understand more detailed information about puberty provided in the pre-teenage years. They can also when they are young, be provided with information about viruses and germs that attack the body. This provides the basis for talking to them later about infections that can be caught through sexual contact.

I fail to understand the latest upheaval in certain Indian States about sex education because as an educationist we should all understand that it is our prime duty to educate the child in all spheres of life not just Maths and Science. Sex Education has to be so well integrated in the curriculum that teaching is imparted without the child knowing that he is learning a specific subject related to sex. We all are aware of the fact that integrated studies provide more information and understanding to the child than a subject being taught in isolation. I don’t think so one needs parents consent in this as it is an important part of the curriculum, which we all tend to shy away from.

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We Wear the Mask

February 10th, 2008 -- Posted in General | 8 Comments »

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, Oh great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream other-wise,
We wear the mask! 
Paul Laurence Dunbar – 1896
How different we interpret the masks we wear in public. You can be in a mall, or a community event, or at the office or at a party. And everywhere you go, people are wearing one of the many faces at their disposal. Sometimes, they are wearing their happy face, or their concerned face, or their worried face, or their nondescript face. Sometimes, our masks are jubilant, and pained, some are amused, bemused, and confused. Mostly, our masks are put on haphazardly, and with not a great deal of thought beforehand.
Masks both conceal and reveal !!!!!
We all wear masks . . . masks fashioned of the fibers of our experiences and our perceptions of those events. Many of the masks we wear are appropriate for the task at hand, while others are false faces, donned unconsciously, presenting a false identity to the world.
I first became conscious of my masks when a wise man, asked me to share something about myself I really liked. I promptly replied, “My smile.” and smiled broadly. I have always been complimented on my smile. Now this wise man knew that often those things we best like about ourselves are protective masks or patterns which conceal our true identity. As we continued, I became increasingly uncomfortable, then sad, and finally began to cry. Thus I discovered my Mask of the Smiling Face, a mask I had fashioned as a very young child to conceal my real feelings. As the adult, I was still wearing this mask to conceal anger, grief, and disappointment, and often found myself smiling inappropriately.
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February 7th, 2008 -- Posted in General | 25 Comments »

‘Dreams give rise to hopes, Hope inspires efforts. Efforts results in success, so dreams are roots of success.’

This SMS on my mobile inspired me to write this ………..

Dreams are exciting, or they can turn into nightmares. They can also become reality. What is the difference between a dream and a goal?

A dream is the starting point. It’s where we allow ourselves to create images, ideas or concepts that we would like to have occurred in our future. A dream may not always seem realistic or achievable at first, but we are filled with hope and inspiration when we think it might just come true … one day.

A goal is created when we decide it is time to move this dream into action!

A goal occurs when we make the commitment to making our dream come true and start creating the plan to get us there.

It can be easy to do a lot of dreaming – I know I do! I have lots of wonderful ideas and aspirations dreamed up alone in my office. If I am not disciplined then I never move them forward to being goals. This is when I pick up the phone and start sharing my dreams with other people, friends or my own guide. Telling someone else my dreams is a sure way to motivate me to take some action.

You can stay in ‘dream mode’ for a short or a long time before turning it into a goal. There is no right or wrong timeframe.

It is my strong belief that we are not capable of dreaming things we cannot actually achieve. So if you have the ability to dream it, you have the ability to do it! continue reading »

Value based education need of the hour

February 4th, 2008 -- Posted in General | 7 Comments »

Looking at the present growth of civilization, it seems that society has failed somewhere in imparting non-formal and formal education to its masses. We might have developed materially but not mentally. Mental development about life, death, happiness, sorrow, moral and our usefulness to society is lacking in the people. There is a great need to equip present education being imparted to children with values of life in order to make them good human beings. With the changing mindset of humanity towards materialistic approach at the cost of others is posing a great concern for the survival of civilization in the times to come. The present education system has groomed people for a legendary appetite for need-based knowledge and tuned us to feast on success. Today’s education only plunges people enthusiastically into actions to create an image larger that the life. Emphasis on materialistic value presents a distorted face of capitalism.. Society is witnessing a loss of moral compass along with symptoms like growing cynicism, hatred ness towards others, moral decline in private and public life, increased isolation, increase of violence, greed, racism and many more.

Education without values is not beneficial to anyone. Education devoid of values may be detrimental to society in the long run. Values bring quality and meaning to life and give a person his identity and character. Children imbibe values all the time from their parents, teachers and peers. But it is also necessary that we deliberately teach them the right values right from their childhood. What they learn at this tender age stays with them all through their life. Hence importance should be given to imparting a value-based spiritual education.

In ancient times, students were taught what life was really about. They were taught how to live their lives and to conduct themselves in the world. They developed strong minds and could easily withstand hardships or face any obstacles. They were dedicated to truth and were not afraid of death. continue reading »

Where are we heading?????????

February 1st, 2008 -- Posted in General | 1 Comment »

A bleeding knee. A bruised jaw. Or a broken tooth. All part and parcel of growing up.
Or is it? When disaster strikes, all our buried anxieties and niggling doubts spill over, threatening to make us view every little injury as an accident averted, making us question the very values on which we are bringing up our children. A little bit of rough and tumble is fine, we tell ourselves, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

The tragic shoot out in Gurgaon has sent shockwaves across the whole nation .This bizarre accident has sent a chill down the spine of all of us.

I strongly feel that for a 13 or 14 year old to have committed such a heinous crime each one of us is responsible. Let us question ourselves and evaluate how much value based teaching is imparted in schools and at home. The basic cause of this is Kids have not learnt control.

Adults usually learn to mask their aggression under a veneer of polite, civilized behavior. Small children cannot do that. They have to learn to do it.

Take an old case of a three-year-old boy from Blackpool, England. He smashed the head of his newborn sister against the settee, killing her instantly. Unfortunately, when children hit out without understanding how much damage they can cause, their clumsiness and carelessness can result in serious injuries. continue reading »

  • Shalini Nambiar,

     Shalini Nambiar