Life has changed after Covid-19. Classes are online. I miss the warmth of friendship, the ambience of learning, and the fun of doing things together.
Life has thrown new challenges. In this context, as I look back at all my experience of teaching, I think there are three things every student should know. Let me share that with you.
First of all finding yourself where you are now was never your choosing.
When you were young it was your parents who decided things for you; perhaps they still do.
You might not like everything they do and might not agree with all that they decide for you. But there are no perfect parents on earth and yours are no exception. Learn to forgive in case they are wrong.
At the same time do not give up when you find yourself in a course of study that was never your first choice.
Instead make best use of time and opportunities that are present for you. Do not compare yourself with others and feel inferior. Negative circumstances are just the right conditions for you to excel.
Who knows! If you show passion for the subject that you find yourself in today, your skill in it might just be the most wanted in the changed world tomorrow.
Secondly, learn to do ordinary things exceptionally well.
Let me start from the simplest of examples. From drawing a margin in your notebook, writing today’s date on the blackboard when given the chance, tying your shoelace properly, are all indicators of greatness.
The point is excellence is a habit. And it starts with extraordinary attitude in what others neglect.
No task is below your dignity if you can stamp it with a divine “nothing left undone that could be done” attitude. Whatever you do, do it with enthusiasm and as if there is no second chance.
When such an attitude becomes a habit there are no end to possibilities. What is mundane and routine becomes ablaze with glory.
So then, aim high and keep on doing the ordinary with the best of your efforts every single time you attempt. Let there be no exceptions.
A Note of Appreciation to All Teachers with Love and Utmost Respect
My third thought is that you should arm yourself with hope.
Fear and worry, anxiety and despair, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can cloud your minds anytime. The future has become uncertain like never before.
Carefully laid plans are disrupted. There are more reasons beyond your control than what you can imagine.
Know that no man can promise you a bright future. Artificial intelligence will fail when predicting the future.
Yet let me remind you never to lose hope but look ahead to comebacks in life, have dreams, sing songs in blackest nights, be thankful, and rise above every setback that life can throw at you.
Hope is not found in endless waiting, but taking initiative and acting in faith when even silver linings are not seen in the clouds.
When you see waters flooding and overflowing the banks in your life, do not feel intimidated. But with trust in God step in. You will find a highway in the midst of the impossible.
So dearest of my students, in my retirement year it is a kind of farewell note that I have sounded. It is uncertain when we all will meet face to face.
Let change keep happening but let goodness and love, and true friendship remain. Thank you one and all.
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