This article originally appeared on https://medium.com/@
The floods have undoubtedly battered the city of Chennai and other parts of coastal Tamil Nadu. Hundreds of people have been killed, thousands have been rendered homeless and it looks like the damage to infrastructure and property will make the treasury lighter by many millions.
More than anything, people have been deeply disturbed emotionally. People inhabiting these parts now feel humbled by nature. However, people have now started realizing the importance of empathy and collaboration more than ever. This calamity has brought out the best in many people. It has re-instilled the faith in humanity. As some sources quoted, “There were more volunteers than victims involved in the relief efforts.” Majority of the adults have been sensible, helpful, vigilant and patriotic towards their city and society.
It is now time to pass on these virtues to the adults of tomorrow. There may be a lot of young minds that are insecure and unsure at the moment. As they restart their sessions at school, their apprehensions will magnify if they are not handled with care.
Teachers, educators, parents and anyone dealing with young minds, here is my prayer:
Now is the time, we give them hope.
Now is the time, we tell them stories of how we overcame this calamity not as individuals, but as a society. As ONE.
Now is the time, we tell them how we faced this challenge bravely and how challenges are natural and inevitable.
Now is the time, we make them realize how important it is to be humane.
Now is the time, we make them the custodians of environment and mother nature.
Now is the time, we enable them to become better individuals, and not destroy their mindset forever, just for the sake of completing the syllabus.
Now is the time, we etch the marks of will power and empathy in their minds, instead of marks on their answer sheets.
Educators, I urge you to take to your children, lesson plans carefully crafted with empathy, precision and positivism. I urge you to listen and to observe them with utmost attention, so that you can understand their inner voice and help them overcome their struggles. All that children now need are adults who respect and listen to them. Appreciate and empathize wherever needed. Talk to them about the true purpose of education — the education of character.
Parents, I urge you to spend more time with your children. Prioritize family time over work. Encourage them to become better citizens rather than to become class toppers. Take them around the city, introduce them to different people who have stood out during these testing times.
Our state is flooded, with good thoughts as well. More than ever. If we enable them to internalize these thoughts in the right way, we can do justice to the word that defines us. Adults.