“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the Sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching Sun.”
I read these lines against a beautiful backdrop in a cancer hospital recently. It is so very true. You can be a ‘victim’ of cancer or a ‘victor’ of cancer – it is all in the mind, the attitude and approach. Mind power is most important to overcome any crisis in life, however big or small.
4th February is observed as World Cancer Day. There will be events, debates, marathons, donations and celebrations in many, many ways to commemorate the struggles of cancer patients, break-throughs made in the medical field etc. This is as far as the ailment that affects us physically. What about the cancer of the mind ? If left unchecked and uncontrolled, a single cell, a single negative thought of anger, arrogance, frustration, jealousy, revenge, prejudice etc. can spread wildly like a cancerous cell and completely devastate a person. This causes harm not only to the person but also to the organization he works for and the society he lives in. Can we pledge to overcome these negative forces and lead a ‘cancer-free’ life ? Again, it is all in the mind !
As we celebrate the 65th Republic Day, it is all the more necessary that we strive towards a ‘cancer-free’ society – both of the body and the mind.
“Children must be taught HOW TO THINK, not WHAT TO THINK”. – Margaret Mead. Unfortunately the schooling system in our country is woefully inadequate on several fronts. Not only does it discourage thinking it also punishes children who are inquisitive and challenge the teacher. Thanks to the marks / grade based assessment, it encourages students to resort to rote learning and vomit the same without understanding the concepts. No wonder the young minds which are as sensitive as a thermometer get hardened as cold iron by the time they graduate out of colleges, with no useful impressions made.
Just reflect on the situation. Several things have gone wrong. Latest is a certain breed of schools that are mushrooming – ‘techno schools’ which claim to make IIT engineers out of the children. Can you believe they are enticing parents and children as young as 10 years with a promise of rigorous coaching for IIT and other competitive examinations ? Result – the child has a 8 to 5 schedule with no time to play and have fun. I am not even sure if the ‘victims’ even know whether they would like to be engineers or something else. Firstly is it the right age to decide on a line of education ? Recently one of my friends got a call from a techno school promising a huge discount in the admission fee since her daughter had scored 76% in class 4. Upon contacting the school, she realized that the management had contacted tuition teachers, got details of the students & reached out in a typical corporate marketing style with incentives to the ‘referrers’. The infrastructure of the school was far from satisfactory and so were the staff handling this ‘recruitment drive’. One can imagine the quality of education that will be imparted by an institution adapting such an undesirable approach. The output will most likely be what our banner displays !
Well, many things are going right too with education. Only let us bear in mind that “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”. – Aristotle