Life as a Teacher
When I think about my life, I think about the kind of pathways that I could’ve taken pretty often. Often times, I don’t know what I might have done otherwise apart from teaching – such is the captivation that this pathway has brought for me.
Over the time that I’ve spent teaching, I’ve taught literally hundreds of students – as a result, I’ve developed some familiarity with the way that people learn and grow over the course of time, which in turn has led me to develop a strong interest in the human mind, not just as a theoretical thing, but rather as something that I have dedicated my entire life towards growing and stimulating in lots of different ways.
Somehow or another, I feel most comfortable when I am in front of groups of people, speaking and sharing, and talking about the things that I learned throughout the course of the time I’ve been on earth.
I don’t know why that’s the case.
Perhaps it’s some sort of idle wish to pass down something to the next generation?
Maybe it is, but it’s not as if I don’t benefit from it either. It’s allowed me to live a life that’s pretty comfortable, one where I can be at peace with myself… Yet along the way, though, it’s led me into many different territories of doubt.
After all, can a teacher really claim credit for the student’s successes?
It is a fact that I have trained some of the most illustrious students of Malaysia, but that’s not to say that I am the best teacher, by any means – I think that if I were to say that, it would be an example of hubris of the highest order: who in this world can really say that the are the best teacher, especially when the act of learning in itself is so dependent upon the hearts and efforts of the students who choose to take part in one’s classes?
I am not so arrogant.
As a teacher, I’ve learned to consider how to become more articulate, better at structuring my thoughts, better at inspiring the hearts of the people around me – that’s been a long process of learning, not only how to order my words, but also to want the correct things, to be able to say the right things at the right time, to obtain the qualifications that I need in order to inspire confidence, while at the same time being able to cast them away in lieu of an independent mind that can inspire people to question.
I wonder if as a person, I could have become more wealthy, had more social status, or done any number of other things that could have put me in the grand scheme of things in a battle state than that which I experience at the moment – but when I look at my life, I’ve come to realize that there is no great suffering – no particular desire to compete, or compare – just a man who is enjoying what he’s doing, and can be said to be reasonably good at it.
Is it to say that there is no room for progress? No, certainly not – if anything, the journey is just beginning. Still, I thought it would be good to get some of these things off my chest while I’m thinking about them, and evaluating where I am to go in the future, because I know that wherever that road leads, it will require me to develop a stronger, personal conviction, a stronger set of abilities – a heart that is better able to deal with the inevitable challenges of this universe.
If you are a student of mine, know that I am still growing as a teacher, and I am doing my best to become the best person to serve you, although I will inevitably fail – but know that I know you have invested with me, your time, your minds, and your hearts – and I will do you well.
If you are one of the many parents who have and trusted me with your children, and also have decided to fund the journey that I have begun as I move forward, know that my gratitude extends across borders, and that my commitment is to bring your children value that extends far beyond whatever it is that you have agreed to give me in monetary compensation. Know that I am telling you that I am not necessarily a perfect teacher, or even a perfect human being for that matter – but I will continue to aspire to be a good role model for your child so that they can learn how to do things and live life a little bit more so that they can fulfill your wish that they may exceed you in the upcoming generation, one way or another.
Thank you for supporting me and doing what I wish to do and to help grow it for the next generation – your words, your thoughts, your support from so many different places, and countries around the world has been deeply meaningful to me and continues to serve as a source of inspiration that I take to hear with each moment, and each day of my life.
I don’t particularly know what led me to write this on a Saturday night, but it felt like the most important thing for me to share at this point, as I reflect upon the journey somehow amid a brief pause of moments before one of the busiest months I’ve ever experienced in my life.