Friday, May 7, 2010

A must read...


Yesterday it was big day for my daughter at school. She was the topper in her grade 5 exams from her class and the 12th amongst 620 students who appeared for the same exam throughout the school. The annual academic merit awards were honouring them with certificates, plaques and scholarships. As the proud parents and well wishers cheered on, the chief guest who is an eminent personality in Oman gave a wonderful and humane speech.

A part of that speech was a letter written by Abe Lincoln to his old school headmaster. This was written as a parent who had put in his son to the same school, in which he was once a student. What stayed with me of yesterday evening, apart from Toshali's smile, was this letter. Sharing it with you here..


He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero: that far every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader…

Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. It will take time, I know a long time, but teach, if you can, that a dollar earned is of more value then five of found.

Teach him, to learn to lose…And also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy, if you can, teach him the the secret of quiet laughter.

Teach him, if you can the wonder of books…But also given quiet time wonder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on the green hillside.

In school teach him, it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat…

Teach him to have faith in his own idea, even if everyone tells him they are wrong…

Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with tough.

Teach him to listen to all men…But teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good one that comes through.

Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tear.

Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidder but never to put a prize tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes the fine steel.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because only then he will have faith in mankind.

This is a big order, but see what can you do… He is such a fine little fellow, my son!



Toshali's picture is from a few months back ...
The handwritten letter is courtesy google images

64 comments:

R. Ramesh said...

wonderful pat pat pat to junior sujata...congrats buddy...u know su, i had pasted that Ab's letter on my door earlier...anywy..nice post...wishes always

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Congrats Toshali! Keep it up or shall I say keep on upping the ante?
Thanks for sharing that wonderful letter Sujataji.

ZB said...

Wow, your daughter is gorgeous...Lovely smile...god bless to her.

That was quite inspirational....Thanks:)

kavita said...

Congratulations Toshali !!And a salute to proud parents- a tight hug to her sweet brother.

Sujata ..the letter is very inspirational,thanks for sharing.

Destiny's child said...

Congratulations Toshali!
And what a wonderful letter...very motivating...:)

Nona said...

Congratulations, Toshali (and to the parents)

Aparna said...

Congratulations Toshali, wishing you many more such winning moments.

Akshay said...

A very big congratulations to Toshali. Keep it up. A big salute to you and Dada. I'm sure you're proud parents now. Also, a big congratulations to Soumya for having a sister like Toshali. Yes, Toshali has a very magical smile. Thank you for sharing the inspirational letter Sujatadi!

Bindhu Unny said...

Congrats, Toshali. And Sujata, thanks for sharing such a nice speech/letter :)

Balachandran V said...

Congrats to TOshali! And Abe Lincoln's letter is as ever inspiring...

BK Chowla, said...

It feels so nice to see children doing well. Please wish her all the best on my behalf.

Nikita Banerjee said...

Congrats to your daughter! She is taking after you in looks...pretty! :)

This is an amazing post!

Kavi said...

many congratulations to your daughter ! Topper is no small task ! I never got any close there, except for one subject ! That was many years back !

What really counts is how much the other stuff mattered. The stuff AL wrote about.

That particular letter is pasted in my heart ! Once again, many many congratulations to her !

KParthasarathi said...

Toshali has made you proud.Congratulations to her.Truly a chip of the old block!!Talent evidently runs in the family.

I am a great fan of Abe and the letter you had so kindly printed truly showed in bright light his greatness and the values he stood for.He stands like a permanent pole star to guide us all

Thanks Sujata for a wonderful post

Hopeless Romantic said...

congrats to her...

sujata said...

@Ramesh @arun, @Zb, @Kavita @Destiny's child @Nona @Aparna @Akshay @Bindhu @Bala @BkC @Nikita @Kavi @KPartha @Hopeless Romantic thanks for all your wishes and blessings. The letter is indeed inspirational..I just loved it!

Zuzana said...

Congratulations to your beautiful and smart girl, well done! What an achievement.
That letter was a lovely rad as well, so poignant.
Have a great weekend,
xo

Bikram said...

Congratulations to Toshali... VERY Well done ..

and the letter wow it is good.. But the best thing i liked was the line TEACH THEM TO LEARN to Take losses..
Because we in todays day and age forget to teach our kids this.. adn put a lot of pressure ..

As is the way of world in a Race of 10 athletes Only 1 wins .. the other 9 loose .. thats 90%.. anyway I wrote a article on that ..
Loosing is a Art


But awesome .. and I hope little toshali keeps up the good work and All the best to her.. WELL DOEN and I hope she got a gift for that he he hehe :)

R. Ramesh said...

hey buddy..thanks ya...and now dont bluff that u guys actually planned a visit to dubai..nope nope dont believe..if u really do, ok i will prepare idli and coffee for yr fmly on my own..come on, take a risk..

arvind said...

congrates to ur daughter..

btw - r u really belive - will this guys remember this length of words?

just look ramesh.. inviting you..

@ramesh - Boss.. r whitewash over at the kitchen?

Sumandebray said...

congratulations Toshalli. Very well done.
Nice post from a happy mother

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Toshali (and her mother). Nice inspirational letter. But as the teacher who taught my daughters ( some 20 years ago) -when they were in primary school - says, parents these days are different. They only want to know why we are not giving the children more homework, why their child is not faring as well as the others. They are just not concerned about extra-curricular activities. I believe the school has as much a role as the family in instiling right values.

Jyothi said...

Congrats Toshali...Great job..

joyeeta said...

congratulations to Toshali and to you and Sanjoy as well, she's got the talent but even more importantly,the support of the two of you.

Debopam Chaudhuri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debopam Chaudhuri said...

After some time gap..
First well done to Toshali (pls pass it on)
And secondly, thanks for sharing the 'Letter'..
BTW, how is Bond?

APARNA said...

Congratulations Toshali...Keep up the good work.

Sujatha...thank you for sharing the letter.

Aparna.

R. Ramesh said...

dropped in to say hi:)

deeps said...

absolutely superb...
i thought there would be some other stuff you had kept ready for us...
but this is a superb news...
congratulations young girl...
perhaps the Glamour of this feat would have been a touch less, had it been done back in India, but now it s too cool..

Nazish Rahman said...

Congratulations Toshali...its lovely!!

RGB said...

Congrats to Toshali on her achievements. And thanx for sharing the letter.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

A wonderful letter indeed! Congrats to you and your daughter!

R. Ramesh said...

hey buddy..vallah..u also said so; ok two icecreams for u.n family...heheh..thanks ya...

anilkurup said...

Lincoln's letter is one powerful piece of entreaty ever written by a father. I remember sending the cutting from 'The Hindu' some ten years ago to my son's school principal and the gentleman promptly pasted it on his door, and the school notice board.
Some years later I noticed an enlarged copy framed and hung on the wall of the Head-master's office.

I wish your daughter turns out to be a prodigy Lincoln wanted his son to be .

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Congrats to Toshali and to her proud parents. And thanks for taking me through this amazing letter which I had read, been moved by, and had forgotten.

R. Ramesh said...

hey S Hiiii

Indrani said...

Congratulations to your daughter! So well done! :)

Pesto Sauce said...

He I am in Muscat and loving the place. I am in MBD in Ruwi and enjoying the look and feel....its just like India

R. Ramesh said...

hi buddy:)

Sneha said...

Hey, just got across your blog. Must say...your daughter has bright eyes and a dazzling smile. Congratulations. And I've read the extracts from the letter. Inspiring, to say the least.

R. Ramesh said...

where r u??? blogworld missing u..friend..

crackedchronicles said...

Oops am late as usual....but my hearty congratulations to the little girl.

I have always felt a lump when I read that letter, especially the last line "He is such a fine little fellow, my son!" Shows how much he loved the boy...sobs!

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

All is well?

joven said...

hi, you have nice blog.. u can view also mine..http://akoniwares.blogspot.com

numerounity said...

Very soulful. Many congrats to Toshali. God bless.

vineetasdiary said...

hey hiya... where r u buddy? long time no post?

Dr.Banashri Bhuyan said...

Hey! Sujata, Congratulations for the achievement of ur daughter! I am a new follower of ur blogspot and am already in love with it.Keep blogging! And ya! Your daughter is really very beautiful !!

R. Ramesh said...

sujata jiiii...how r u? where r u? sure we will hear from u...take care..wishes to family...:)

Kishore Choudhary said...

Congratulations Toshali .rejakhar

Sonu said...

Inspiring post...
:)
Never stop writing...

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Tell her we are proud of her--as you must be! Loved the quote. C

Indrani said...

Hi Sujata, hope all is well.

Meira said...

no post? you're tagged

Manoj K said...

i just dropped in thru kishoreji's blog, ur daughter is sweer lil child. It was worth posting the AbLin letter here.

regards,

Cunninghamzcuz said...

Congratulations to Toshali (and her mother). Nice inspirational letter. But as the teacher who taught my daughters ( some 20 years ago) -when they were in primary school - says, parents these days are different. They only want to know why we are not giving the children more homework, why their child is not faring as well as the others. They are just not concerned about extra-curricular activities. I believe the school has as much a role as the family in instiling right values.

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