22 Nov At SNIS We Fuel the Lamp Continuously
When we look into the eyes of young children, we see a light, a sparkle. A survey of more than fifty thousand children across various countries around the globe reveals that children tend to be happy regardless of the context of their lives. From Ethiopia to England, children say that they are largely happy with their lives.
But when we see older people, that light, that sparkle is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. After all, we as adults have responsibilities that kids don’t have. We have to go to work to earn a living so that our families are taken care of. We know things about the darker side of the world that the innocent young eyes and minds don’t, so it is understandable that we’d have a little more concern, worry or fear than them. So how do we keep the spark alive in the eyes of our children? How do we make sure that as they grow older they do not lose their ‘happiness’?
There are 2 aspects we need to consider here, imagine the light in a child’s eyes to be a lamp’s flame. The first aspect is nurturing – how would one keep a lamp burning? Oil of course, the more fuel you pour the longer and brighter a lamp shines. The second is to guard the lamp against strong breeze and storms.
Science supports the idea that warmth and affection expressed by parents/ guardians or teachers to children results in life-long positive outcomes for those children. For most people, having material landmarks is equivalent to success. For a common man, where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement. But it isn’t the purpose of life. We need to realise that academic success is not everything; we also need to understand that academic success does not guarantee financial success. We need to foster in our children that life is not a race, and they can choose to do whatever that makes them happy. Whatever that makes them feel alive.
Nature has designed each of us with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature’s design. That means we need to realize our potential, the unique factor that makes us special. We all have that something. If we embrace that we will automatically be good at it. Because we are naturally designed to do just that.
We have all seen classmates brilliant in sports in school, artists, musicians invariably stop playing or stop pursuing their dreams by the time they get married and have children. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies.
We need to teach our children to never make that compromise. Firstly, our children need to love themselves, and then others. Only when they love themselves will they make career choices that will make them happy, which means the light and sparkle will always be alive, which also means they may not be dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Anne Frank once said “Whoever is happy will make others happy” When we are truly happy, it makes our family, friends and people around us happy. And in Steve Job’s words ‘ the only way to do great work is to love what we do’, and great work means rising above mediocrity, great work means being brilliant at what you do, which means automatic success. Else, they may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.
We need to nurture this light from the beginning and the growing/learning environment plays a crucial role here. Sharanya Narayani International School (SNIS) embodies a student-centered approach and secure, stress-free learning environment where the voice of every child is heard, which fuels the lamp to a continuing sense of wonder and passion for the world around us. SNIS stands for keeping the ever glowing sparkle alive to brighten the world with compassion, curiosity and creative fire.
“Sparks” describe interests and skills that “light fires” in our lives. They provide energy, joy, purpose and direction in life. They are engaging and deeply motivating. As elders whether at home or in school, let us contribute in fostering the never ending light within our children. It is we, who need to discover the sparks of the hidden flames in our kids that lights into true passions, choices that would make them truly happy and keep the lamp shining and burning forever.
Childhood is arguably the most wonderful years of a human being’s life. If someone gave us all the choice to go back in time, we will surely choose to relive our childhood. This most precious years our children spend in school should provide them with enough confidence to firstly love themselves, secondly, it should instil enough self confidence in them to make choices that would be bold and unique to the individual they are, choices that would make them truly happy and keep the lamp shining forever. True happiness comes when you believe in what you are doing, know what you are doing and love what you are doing.
- Nelson’s online teaching for students