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Love. Respect. Obedience. - A Question to Ponder

Student Stories What motivates the heart? What is the foundation for giving love, being obedient or showing respect? Do they work together in harmony relying on each other or standalone by themselves? I hadn’t thought too much about this question until I had a week where I saw all three attributes in different ways. As a teacher who has been at JP for many years, I know that the students show love, respect, and obedience differently. They stand still when told to, respect us as their elders and ever so lovingly share their snacks with us during lunch. But we can’t always see what it is that motives them. I have a student in my Beginner’s Class called, Majidul. He’s very young and a good student. His school fee had not come for two-three months. The kids are required pay a small fee for school, so they realize the importance of their schooling. Since he hadn’t brought it for a long time, I instructed him that it was a matter of two or three days not getting the usual chips and using it for school fees instead. Of course, do little boys choose to follow this? Not so, when those hungry eyes see the delicious chips at snack time. At his age I would’ve done the same thing! Majidul’s father came to know the fee hadn’t been paid and came to the school. Even though the money had been given to Majidul, that money never reached me. Majidul had spent that money elsewhere. While Majidul's father was telling me this, I told Majidul, “This is wrong, you apologise to your father and say that it will not happen again.” Majidul is a little kid but the way I spoke, he did as I had asked. Not just because I told him, but because we had a relationship founded on love. All of our students in our schools know they are loved and cherished, and Majidul did too. From that day onwards, he has show love, respect and obedience to us, his school teachers.

Another day I was wondering what to do with our school room. It had gotten overly crowded. With 70 children coming, we needed every centimeter we could spare. When we had returned to our school building, we’re renting, we saw that many other things had been kept in the school which didn’t belong there. It had become very congested in this space. One day the children and I together organized the area, keeping everything to one side and made some space to teach. Even though we did this, it was still too congested to teach there due to the overwhelming amount of stuff. I told our landlord many times how congested the area was, but he did not remove that stuff at all. Two days ago, I told the children in the assembly that together we will remove this someday. Now wait for what I’m about to tell you. The very next day when I reached the school, the area there was found completely clean. It turns out the children came together and cleaned the place. I had no idea that these people would come to school early in the morning and cleaned our school. The children impressed me so much by their act of love. Not only did they listen, but they did something to solve the problem. What the motivated the kids in these stories? I think it was a combination of the three attributes that are so valuable in life. Seeing these kids in action made me feel loved and proud to be their instructor. It is a pleasure for me that God has given these little kids to me, and I want them to learn how to be a good honest person in this world. As you can see, they are well on their way! Written by Teacher Ujjwal @ Akbar Nagar Slum School

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