The Paths to Success

I have always been wondering, who or what can help a child find the path to happiness in life? Once a family is blessed with a newborn, the crooked process of indoctrination begins. Adults are eager to suck all of the life energy within the child and to replace it with their own desires and wishes arising out of their own frustrations. They are so much in love with their frustrations! Then they spend their time and energy to get the child chiseled to get it fixed into the mould they have already prepared. The child wriggles with pain. The adults feel content.

As humans, we are fascinated by fame and money. These passions are not our own. They are the progeny of the crooked indoctrination the adults continue doing in the guise of love. Most often, they succeed in getting the child pursue an education that would help it reach the great destination in life, that of making money. We are passionate about the money and respect a job fetches for us; we may not be genuinely interested in the job. How can we spend our days doing something we do not love? That’s absurd.

I recently saw a policeman in Kottayam very passionately regulating the traffic at a busy junction. I was surprised. All the other personnel of the traffic police had made me feel that the work of regulating traffic is mundane. But not this man. I could read his passion for the job in his eyes. It was a heavenly moment. To see someone enjoying what he did for a living! He did not do it for a living. It was his life itself. I wished to gaze for long; it was such a beautiful sight!

I would like to recall my visit to a dentist as well. He is passionately a dentist. When he asks me what happened, I can feel his genuine concern for the well-being of my tooth. For him, filling a cavity is a work of art. Again, I could read his passion in his eyes, his gestures, his movements. What an enchanting experience! I wished I had more cavities to fill!

Last academic year, I taught two brothers in grade twelve. Arun was a student in the Science stream and Akhil pursued his higher secondary education in Humanities. After completing twelfth, Arun has opted for a complete break up with Science. He would pursue his graduation in History. Akhil has joined an industrial training institute to become a welder. These two boys come from the same family. They are brothers. But their interests are drastically different. They are lucky to have a family that has not resolved to make them engineers or doctors. I do not know whether these boys would be rich or famous some day. I know, they would not be frustrated with their lives. They are free to make choices in life.

We feel happy when we do the things we love. We cannot compromise on our daily happiness. The greatest possibility life offers is to stay happy. Money cannot buy happiness. Neither can fame or respect of people. Happiness is intrinsic. Its fountains are within. It has no business with the world outside. The thought that possessions can bring happiness gets shaken the moment we really start possessing them.

Happiness is experienced when we start realizing the potential that lies within us. By potential, I do not mean a great reservoir of skills and talents that would make the world stand in awe and watch. The world will not stand in awe and watch. Pursuing fame and money, it has lost all its sensitivity. By potential, I mean the art of regulating traffic. By potential, I mean the exquisite work of filling a cavity. I mean, the welding of two pieces of steel. Doing what one enjoys doing.

Things would change for the better when our education starts helping us to stop looking outwards to realize our potential. Let children play. Let them dance. Let them sing. Let them experience the fountains of joy lying within and get connected with their inner beings. Only in moments of happiness can we experience that connectivity. Education should help us establish that connectivity. Potential lies within. God resides within.

About the Author
Lekshmi Binoy Vallabhassery is from Kottayam. She is a Higher Secondary School English teacher at GHSS,  Kidangara, Alappuzha.

Find her on Facebook: Lekshmi

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