Tuesday, December 02, 2008

at times even i have to be a teacher...


"Did God himself really write the holy scriptures of all the religions? If yes, then why did he write so many of them?"

...kids sure have an uncanny knack of asking the 'right' questions just as much as we adults have the habit of ignoring them and failing to answer them...

one of the many joys of being a teacher is that such moments are not rare and often in presenting themselves to me. and when they do arise, i suddenly find myself in the situation of immense power. the power to influence and mold young minds today that tomorrow will do the same to many others. the power to make and break the fragile harmony of existence at the knife's edge that our society lives by. it would be so easy to dismiss it all off. just one wave of my arm and one shrug of my shoulder and the inquisitiveness would be squashed. the preposterous clamouring of the young minds would be disciplined and life would be much more easier and the syllabus i set out to complete would be followed. and over time, repeating the same attitude over and over again i will eventually be able to chain down the childlike voice of reason that questions everything and blind the curious eyes that see the world for what it is and what it can be. finally to lead them to believe what i want them to believe and to see the world as i want them to see. in black and white.

yes i can do all of this. it would be all so easy and convenient and so self assuring in the sense that i would never have to face a question again that i may not be able to answer and discredit my capacity as a teacher by admitting failure. i am smarter then them after all. i am the teacher.


...or i can choose the other road...



tell them that i am just a human being who is susceptible to failure and ignorance just like anyone else. that i do not know the answers to a lot of things in the world. that the world is not perfect, and i cannot change that fact by saying otherwise, and that i will tell them what i believe to be the truth and that once i have spoken my words they can choose for themselves.

i can tell them that God is most definitely not someone with the capacity to sit down and write words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, volumes and books on religion. God, for all i know, does not even bother with religion. God is too busy looking after his children who are innocuously playing out their lives just like a mother who watches her child play in a park. we rise and fall, hurt and feel joy, and live and die while God watches over us; similar, to the child who runs and trips, laughs and cries, makes friends and breaks a tooth in the park while his/her mother looks on from the bench. she never stops the child from climbing the ladder for the fear of falling. similarly God never stops us from committing mistakes for the fear of going wrong. the mother and God, well, they just carry us back 'home' once the day is over with the same infinite love with which they carried us here.

No, God does not write anything...

"So is that all false?"

...Not really. in fact, i believe the contrary. God may not be dictating to us directly, but there are ways in which we are taken care of and spoken to. a gentle word passed down to us, reminding us to be careful and not to misbehave. to respect life everywhere for what it is and to never undermine our own capacities and doubt our conscience. like a mother speaking to her child.

the true essence of our religious teaching are but words that are passed down to us through the ages by wise people who understood the gravity of the muted whispers from God's lips and who were enlightened enough to give them a voice of reason and love that we all would understand. then over time the words begin to grow faint, and we felt the need to write down those words, just in case we ever forgot them. but in our Babel-istic ignorance we wrote them down in such a manner as to make it more and more ambiguous.

but that is not reason enough to discard them altogether, is it? No, God may have not written down a list of 'do's and don't' for us, but we most certainly have made a chart of how to live a good life. just as how a child playing in the park must not forget the mother's words of advice, so must we follow the loving guidance of God and God's people.

a teacher has to be very very careful. the words once uttered cannot be pulled back and they leave a lasting impression on the supremely malleable intellect of the child. it is my job to guide them towards understanding. i have to teach them to accept failure and never to give up; to strive towards understanding the world and towards maintaining an open outlook; to learn to share and love and at the same time to be smart enough to be able to survive in this 'man-kill-man' world of today; not to become too complacent in thought by acknowledging the existence of possibilities beyond our imagination; to fight when necessary and to back down when required...

and you know what the best part is??

...i myself know nothing about all of this. i myself am groping around in life coming to terms with myself and the world and the complex relationship that we share. i am myself undergoing changes all the time and learning how to 'just about scrap' through. and here i have to lead by example despite being an example in imperfection.

being a teacher most certainly is not easy. cause i have to be honest.

:)

5 comments:

Keshi said...

very well written!

God to me, is who I am. Without me being in the Change that I seek, how can I expect others to change? we keep asking ppl around us to hear us, u'stand us etc etc...but r we pure in the first place? for the world to change, we hv to start with self.


**i have to lead by example despite being an example in imperfection.

spot on! love how u put it.


Keshi.

Miladysa said...

".i myself know nothing about all of this. i myself am groping around in life coming to terms with myself and the world and the complex relationship that we share. i am myself undergoing changes all the time and learning how to 'just about scrap' through. and here i have to lead by example despite being an example in imperfection."

I think you have summed LIFE up in this one paragraph :D

I enjoyed this post immensely - thank you!

Ghost Particle said...

a good read of your experience bro. wise man you are, you handled the situation well. and i really loved the two extremes you gave...

//i can tell them that God is most definitely not someone with the capacity to sit down and write words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, volumes and books on religion.//

telling them this now will change their perception, but their religious education is at home and outside. sometimes we have to know that we cant change them spiritually now. but then again, you can make the experience a whole lot better...open their minds to the world and universe. let them question themselves from time to time, and in time they will come to your juncture as well and find their reality and answer.

and honesty is the best to bring out the best in us :)

Nachi said...

Keshi: "God is to me who I am."

totally agree with you in this. if only we all could transgress our 'material' conditioning and introspect into the consciousness within, the world would be a much more peaceful place. i don't assume that we can 'All of us' do this that easily. but the children are much more open to understanding than we are...so maybe they will do a better job at being 'good people' than we are currently doing..

Miladysa: i don't think that anyone can sum up life in just one paragraph. forget one paragraph, even volumes and volumes of words scribbled together will be insufficient. there is just so much to life. but we try, don't we?

:)

Ghosty: the kids sure know how to put me in a spot!

:D

...as for honesty, i believe Machiavelli would have something to say on that...

have been reading a lot of Machiavelli, Hegel & Marx for my course this semester. quite interesting, their interpretation of the issues surrounding mankind and then the subsequent interpretation of their views by 'Us'...

Daks said...

Nacchiiii :)
hey m damn good..exms gng on hehe..
will b gng to adventure park nxt week wiz uni buddies, gonna b funn :D

evn m not getting time to blog, coz of revision :s
but i'll b back sooonnn :)