Dear Students,

We as teachers always get our inspirations from our students. Sincere thanks for your compliments. It will help me to be a better teacher. I will coordinate with poudyal sir about the enterprenureship lectures. I will be leaving for Manila on 29 Nov to deliver a lecture at an international conference on quality assured technical education. I will come back on 4 Dec.

I feel that institutions of higher studies should prepare students for leadership in civic engagement, public service, advocacy and social action (apart from your core technical field). It should also celebrate the life of the mind. I hope that this opportunity will help you to fulfill these valuable objectives of your life.

You, along with others (in your masters program), is embarking on a journey which will be exciting and frightening, a period of joy, pain, discovery, and disappointment. Your road to success is lined with many tempting parking spaces. Always remember that no college or university will ever much successfully educate you or anyone else, because the individual (categorized as a “student”) must come to their own fire about learning. Teachers can only inspire. They can bring knowledge to life – but all education (educere – to lead out [of ignorance, not knowing]) must come to being alive to the individual. If you merely passively await to get an education, you’ll never become “educated”. And the pile of (seemingly-irrelevant) dates, facts and figures you need to pass tests in your classes will soon fade from memory. The secret to happiness and success is not in doing what one likes to do, but in liking what one has to do. It’s always nice to be the best, but not when being the best brings out the worst in you. History of humankind is a real living story of life and death, love and joy, suffering and pain, the search and struggle for meaning…

As an inspiration when I have doubts I always remember the following Serenity Prayer (one of my inspiring prayer) – this prayer is also used by Alcoholic Anonymous:

“Oh God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

People are still trying to find that difference!

In any difficult situation, also remember the following three sentences that I hope will rejuvenate you :

“Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response.
In those choices lie our growth and our happiness.”
(source: unknown)

Try to identify and define that space. The maverick psychiatrist R.D. Laing captured in the words below how failing to notice that we have this space kills our ability to change:

“The range of what we think and do is limited by
what we fail to notice. And because we fail to
notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can
do to change; until we notice how failing to notice
shape our thoughts and deeds.”

Real glory springs from the silent conquest of ourselves. People always say time changes things, but remember you actually have to change them yourself. We are like tea bags – we don’t know our own strength until we’re in hot water. An awareness of our freedom and power to choose is affirming because it can and will excite our sense of possibility and potentials. It can also threaten, even terrify, because suddenly we are responsible, that is, “reponse – able”. We become accountable. Think and ask – am I becoming response-able???? Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. It is difficult! But keep on trying!

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
– Mahatma Gandhi

With warm regards and write whenever you have time.
Pramod

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