“What we know is a drop, and what we don't know is an ocean.” 
For a sage, that leaves no chance of hubris but ignites the quest for truth.

Submitting internship report for the final semester turned out to be a crippling task. Being an internee had been a wonderful learning experience and a marvelous bit of good fortune for me. But, a step later, I had to go through a grueling interrogation. I willed my Marketing Research teacher to conduct my viva, for I knew he was fair, realistic and above all, a listener. His classrooms and office are more of a sanctuary. But his unavailability threw me in a vulture’s den. Not wavering from my excitement, I chose to resort to a lady teacher sanguinely. 

She, however, showed no sign of kindness. Every time I started answering her question, I was stopped midsentence. She’d snap at my answers before I could finish. It left me wondering why was it that she derided my experience of learning as a waste of time. I love being criticized, for invariably criticism is poised to open new doors of learning. But, I had never imagined I would be turned down without being listened to, much less robbed of my chance to passionately enunciate my internship experience.

The teacher has to learn to encourage and listen first. The only way to understand your students is to spend time with them. That calls for resolute austerity and stoicism. I find it unnerving that without knowing a student, a teacher slurs, and ridicules and disparages student’s efforts.

Students are damaged goods. Where will they find teachers who will pick up the pieces of a student and integrate? A happy teacher can do that. A happy and a kind teacher. Someone who has developed the sensitivity towards people of the world. It’s important that those shaping our future have lucid thinking. They must be able to impart something useful. An irritable and nagging teacher will do his students no good. To be able to do that, their own life must be in order.

If they become aware of their power as a teacher, it will inspire them to ponder how better to lead their lives while on this planet. No wonder teachers are said to be the living role models. Not anymore?

Our hopes would have been long lost, if it weren’t for my marketing research teacher, Kashir Asgar, who is as professional as he is stoic. And then - A nubile English teacher Tayyaba, junior to all her colleagues, took a quantum leap forward in the noble profession of teaching when she paid her student’s fee. Not that she likes to disclose it; the occasion of our discussion called for it.

Once, a friend Mubeen’s comment caught me off guard. “Parents tell us many things wrong!” He said pensively. I concurred. We learn all the hypocrisy from home. From home, we learn to cower. Majority of the parents produce fearful children. Children are reprimanded for telling entire truth. Consequently, they hide their mistakes. They’re expected to never go wrong. Naturally, they begin to lie.

It won't be difficult to prophesize the ramifications. And see,

How perfectly these sentiments resonate with our present climate of hypocrisy. We deplore the corrupt practices of politicians. We groan when we stumble onto selfishness of administrators, directors and bankers who run over the aspirations and expectations of others to keep their place secure. They don’t mind lying or cheating to reach a position of wealth and power.

Parents, or teachers for that matter have to do away with selfishness and revel in the desire to be good. This is contagious. It flows down to the students. Weakness of attitude morphs into the weakness of character. There will be times when students will ignore you, they’ll be engrossed in their own lives, some of them will go adrift but a good teacher will keep the doors open when the student comes running for learning. Teacher must be optimistic. His hope - that a desire to come on the right track will soar in his student, doesn’t die.

A teacher doesn’t hate, much less can be mean. He forgives.

The notion that - the social and most importantly economic future of our entire nation depends on the education we receive - is as true as it is simple. And because we have so many of these self-centered, lazy and uninspiring teachers, our students have performed miserably as citizens of the country and globe, threatening the very future of country. All this they've done while bemoaning low pay, less benefits and pensions that have bankrupted our budgets. But money is not the only solution to all problems.

Common root of prejudice is the lack of understanding. That one thing lost to our teachers and to their students is the ability to understand.

Looking at some of the teachers frightens me to my molecules. Their mangled stories make me pore on one thought. What will I have to recount to the coming generations? If I live few more decades, what will the coming kids hear from me? Will I have brave stories to tell them which can inspire them to lead their lives as useful-beings? Or will I tell them that I lived my life by the expectations of others, did nothing courageous and huddled in my comfort shell.

So it goes out to all the fellow students – we must shape ourselves with focused conviction and clear intention. We can show the coming generation far better ways to be audaciously thoughtful. There's a dire need for a fair and unfearing majority. A more aware, enlightened and unsubduable generation. That’s world’s only hope.


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