I have been writing about my Guru and all the other wonderful Gurus. However have we paused and considered who have been our earliest Gurus. The definition of a guru is a teacher, sage, pundit, master, counselor and leading light. I remember when I went to kindergarten and the nuns were so kind to me. I would kneel and kiss the cross. My memory of them was kindness and ever since then I associate kindness with nuns.
My teachers in school said that we must wear ironed uniforms and cut our nails. It was a lesson to be clean. Then as I grew older, in grade 11 our teacher insisted that we wrote neatly and not use the eraser. It was difficult but we learnt to think and write. She said think before you ink. She really influenced me as she was so meticulous in her teaching. We had a writing assignment every day and she did this because she was deaf. She had a hearing aid. We knew when she was coming as she had a dachshund, and we would hear the clicking of the dog’s claws on the floor. We would then be silent like mice.
Teach the children not to lie
My mother told us never to lie. We did not lie to our mother. We were five siblings, it never occurred to us to tell her an untruth. However, if one of us polished off the last slice of cake, we denied it. I took it for granted to always tell the truth and it was only when I had my own children, I realized how important it is to teach your children this.
I learnt another lesson from a tai chi teacher. She taught my husband and me. We were in a group. She was an expert in her practice. Her problem was that she practiced while teaching us. My husband learnt quickly and I on the other hand was having a very hard time. She would pick on me in the class and stop me mid stride. She praised my husband and he was preening like a peacock. What was interesting was that the other women in the class were also getting cross. There were two other men, and she would be praising them too. I was upset but as a Yoga teacher, I kept quiet and observed. One day, she overstepped and all the women in the class snapped at her. I learnt that an uncaring teacher can destroy a person’s confidence and that as a teacher one must never interrupt a student or humiliate them.
I have done a great deal of work in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention. One year when we were commemorating the International AIDS Candle memorial, I decided to invite a person who was HIV positive to speak. He had got HIV from a blood transfusion. I am stating this as he was a hemophilic. I had spoken to his mother first and asked if he would address the audience. I got a phone call from him and he was very virulent and angry. He accused me of being insensitive, a publicity hound and cruel. After he finished talking to me, I apologized to him for my callousness and rudeness. I learnt from this exchange that the person is more important than the cause. What was I thinking?
Please examine your past and present and appreciate all the persons from whom you have learnt something.
Aim Hrim Klim