I saw this wonderful image up at Morning News (which by the way is an excellent epaper that publishes daily since 1999). It was the winning entry for their create-an-idiom-contest to change the world. If you like it, you can, for 2 US Dollars, get one to stick on your car or hang in your cubicle! I recommend you also look up the prize winner (who also illustrated it) – Kevin Cornell – I’m in awe of his webspace coz he is Visually Creative and Fantastic at Designing- both of which I’m not!
Something about this idiom and its imagery, got me. The creators want to “Use it to suggest someone should stop making excuses why they can’t do something.” In me, it brought out other emotions.
It reminded me of Lance Armstrong, cycling supremo who battled cancer and built his life back one day at our time. It reminded me of my father, who’s been unwell for many years and every day makes a little effort to ensure that this day is better than the last. It reminded me of one of my several trekking expeditions, when, halfway up the mountain you want to give up, fatigued. But you clobber on.
It also reminded me of many lessons I’ve learnt, both in my education as a student of life and in my teaching in the classroom.
1. It really bothers me when some people label a child Learning Disabled. It completely gets me into a rage when the child is informed about this categorization and told when he cannot do. I have been guilty of this myself in the past, but with experience and interaction with great kids who had trouble with problems in Math or English that got circumvented by love, care and judicious teaching practice.
When a school introduces a Special Education programme, a few teachers either write it off. Some others make honest efforts, but when having tested every thing they learned in workshops over a short span of time they don’t find results, they give up. Change is slow. Change needs love. Change needs care. The student, who has been several levels below his grade needs time to get familiar with the subject, he needs time to catch up. When the Bird Can’t Fly, it Walks. Let it.
2. When I was sixteen, my Housemaster at the boarding school I went to, came up to me and asked me to author the House Entry for the One-Act Play Competition. I had some success as a student writer, but a play? It seemed impossible. I couldn’t do it. I had never attempted something like this and had no exposure to the stage. How would I? I just wasn’t good enough.
Over the next week, every time my Housemaster passed me, he would smile at me- a nod of encouragement. It seemed he had confidence in me that I didn’t have in myself.
I began to write. It was tough. A few struggling sentences and many balls of paper. Then, a couple of scrawly unorganised pages. That wouldn’t work. I had assumed responsibility of this. I read Beckett. Plus another book of Indian plays. I created an amateur story-board. Slowly the pieces started coming together. I was on my way.
When the Bird Can’t Fly, it Walks. Let it. My Housemaster understood that.
He also understood that if you let that Bird Walk…
Everyone needs a little love, a little care, a little acceptance and they can move the world. As they say in India- Banat, Banat, Banjai (Becoming, Becoming, it finally becomes!)
PS: My illustration is a rather poor one- sorry Kevin! Also, for those interested, we did win that Inter House One Act Play Competition that year.
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