The personal development of the teacher is an essential element of Neohumanist Education. The three articles that follow are shared with this in mind.“Academic certificates do not necessarily confer on a person the right to become a teacher. Teachers must possess such qualities as personal integrity, strength of character, righteousness, a feeling for social service, unselfishness, an inspiring personality and leadership ability. They are sama’ja (social) gurus (teachers who lead from darkness to light) and for this reason it is not possible to accept just anyone as a teacher. Because teachers have an extremely important role to play, their professional standards must be very high.” Shrii P. R. Sarkar
from a talk given by Dada Shambhushivananda
at CNS Sweden
Life is a bundle of choices (conscious decisions). Some choices are dictated by our past karma and almost all of them are determined by our level of awareness at any given point in time. Some are motivated by our inner weaknesses and some are product of our innate strengths. Some choices are guided by our life-long ambitions while some are influenced by our social conditions, educational training or temperament. Some are rational and
predictable while others are purely whimsical and unpredictable. Some choices are calculated or wise while others may be impulsive or self-destructive. Some may be influenced by our family members while others by our peers or others. Some choices make us regret them all of our life while others leave us elated and proud. It is important to recognize that we make choices every day of our lives. The sooner we can begin to become conscious of the pros and cons of our choices, the sooner shall we begin to direct our life towards our cherished goals. Only when we begin to “own” our choices and their results, can we begin to take responsibility for our lives. If we can do so while maintaining a cosmic ideation, so much the better.
1. Choice- do we have one? ‘Owning Choices’.
2. Responsibility- how to deal with failures?
3. Hard Work- Are there short-cuts? Working Joyfully.
4. Vision- if not, then what?
5. Moving Together- a time tested principle
6. Surrender –to what and how?
7. Walking Alone- even when the world walks away.
Responsibility carries with it a lot of anxiety, stress, fears, complexes, challenges and often, excitement and joy. Sense of responsibility is a rare trait and is always in great demand. Nothing great can be accomplished unless executed with a sense of responsibility. Responsibility carries with it sincerity and sense of purpose. Responsibility helps build trust and goodwill. It helps set examples for others and initiates change at all levels. Whatever our choices, we cannot escape the responsibility of our choices and what follows from them. The greatest challenge, however, is how to wipe away or reconcile fear, guilt and other complexes that accrue due to human imperfections. When the goal is noble and for individual and collective good, there is no reason to get bogged down. One has got to march ahead without fear or hesitations.There is no shortcut to hard work. Work done joyfully and with love is the most potent ingredient for a happy and peaceful life. Skilfulness in work is the secret of success in life. One who shirks from duty and work can rarely achieve prosperity. Hard work is the necessary condition- though not a sufficient condition to move forward in life.
Vision inspires action and guides the strategy and action plans. If we do not have our own vision, we shall surely be led by others’ visions which may or may not contribute to our individual and collective welfare. Vision should be articulated in such a manner that it serves the role of compass for all our actions. Vision engages human emotional energy and aids the conversion of human potential into well defined concrete results. All plans and standards emerge out of our chosen vision.
Moving Together is a time tested principle of life. Human beings are social-creatures and derive pleasure from collective living. The success of family organizations and other social organizations stems from this basic trait of humans. When we learn to move together in spirit of collective welfare, we begin to experience the unbounded joy of universal love. The spirit of moving together (samgacchadvam) is another secret of blissful living.
Surrender to the Ultimate Good. We are what we think and feed to our minds. Negativity breeds cynicism. Optimism and Positivity generate strength and inspire great deeds. Faith in the Ultimate Good brings us in closest proximity to inner-most aspirations of all beings. While we must not be oblivious to the limits of relativism, we must keep our faith in the power of the Greater. Subjective approach and Objective adjustment is the secret path of supreme surrender.
There comes a time in our lives when we must walk alone. When the whole world walks away from us, we must still follow our convictions and conscience and walk alone undauntedly. That alone is the path of heroes, of those aspiring to attain the highest goals of life.