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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My share of GNH?

It was an illuminating incident and now when I look back at it and I smile. I smile at the joy of teaching and realize that it is not one sided, I teach but more than that I learn every time when I am with my students.

It was an afternoon class and an afternoon class in Punakha when summer is at its peak it a difficult class for any teacher to keep his students awake. It is a challenge. So on that faithful afternoon I found my students not so eager for the story I had for them. We talked about career and since it was in science, I talked about their career choices and how choices are important in our lives to make us better human beings. Then I talked about the choice I made, to become a teacher and the choices my friends made. I expressed my unhappiness about not getting opportunities to go abroad for short trainings or workshops, while my friends who are in positions lower than me get to visit many places that I only hear about in books and see in movies. Moreover, that particular afternoon I was overwhelmed with my rejection for masters. I was disappointed more when I heard that one of my friends was going to Kuala Lumpur. I mocked the maxim ‘ teaching is a noble profession ‘ as I strongly believed that I deserved more and better than some of my friends who are not noble people like me.
Then one of my students whom I had taught for two years said that I was wrong. I was taken aback for a while. I didn’t know what to say because his words caught me by surprise. I had to gather my focus to drown what he said; I thought he was challenging me.
He said, ‘No Sir, you are wrong, we go to foreign countries all the time’...I couldn't understand what he was saying, ‘because very recently we visited Jamaica, and came to know about the people there.’ He was talking about the short story Jamaican Fragment. ‘And we have been to Africa too, spent one glorious night below the starry night sky in the desert.’ He was talking about the essay African Noël.
I couldn’t help but smile. What was happening felt familiar as I read something like it in the story, The Bet by Anton Chekhov in class ten.

I can't say I felt elated but my student's consolation did help a little. At that moment I was not the teacher, he was. And I was happier.


  1. well written. Education is one of the core aspects of GNH; Good job dude. Well i am having a good laugh at myself, i spent the last three days creating my own blog and all i could put was numbers and money..guess education ruined me uhh and dude my page talks about discounts and rates for room and yours man its about giving out and sharing what you have and mine is about extortion ahahahahha anyway must you have the wits and flow to write

  2. You have shared a very beautiful piece of your personal experience. It is enlightening that if you take the right view, simple things that happen in life on a day to day basis can be a source of happiness. Life is rich and only happiness can make it richer. It was very inspiring that few words spoken by one of your students humbled you deeply and you have had your share of the GNH for the day. I am with you in your humbleness. I am a happier father in the happiness of a son, his students, his school and his country.

    I am inspired by the initiative you have taken to start a journal of your life. You have begun a very profound journey - a journey of "giving" and a journey of "sharing". I would call it a voyage and happiness is a voyage.