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