The Talents of Childhood


I have just been listening to the teachers and students singing Christmas Carols at assembly. This counts among one of my favourite moments of school. The season of good will and good cheer is rejuvenated, in spite of desperate events in the world we live in today.
Today, as I wish my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I would like to celebrate the innate positive energy of our children, that rejuvenates my faith in the fact that we begin life afresh every day. I am constantly amazed by the multiple talents (or Multiple Intelligences, to quote Gardner) displayed by our students. They find time for every new challenge and perform with aplomb. I am even more impressed by the sheer joy they invest in every activity, be in in the classroom or outdoors. For instance, just look at them roller-skating here! Every figure shows determination, grace, balance and focus.
This capacity of children to enjoy living in the present moment without worrying about what future gains will accrue, is sheer genius. They will remain winners, if they manage to retain this supreme talent in the inevitable face of grim reality, whatever its outcome. I hope, they will continue to enjoy life’s challenges without undue worry and anxiety about losing or winning. There are adults enough in every child’s life, to warn of the hardships of losing, the fears of not winning, the frustration of seeing rivals win, and in general, not to be feel safe, secure, contented and happy. If it wasn’t for their inner resilience, our children would become deeply dejected about their chances in life, listening to the constant carping adult voice. Blake embodied this tragedy of growing up, in his Songs of Innocence and Experience.
Apropos, I was very moved by the theme chosen by our senior students and teachers for their Annual Function, Nritya Srota, this year. They depicted the history of dance in India, showing human creativity in movement and rhythm in every epoch. The dances by the students took me back to when humans must have first expressed their exuberant joy of life through grace and melody. A dramatic message was interwoven with the dances. A very focussed and successful family who see dance as an effeminate, fruitless waste of time that should be spent in preparing for a successful career, are won over in the end, by the sheer poetry of grace and harmony as they watch the classical and folk dances unfold on the stage of history. They state, in the end, that while books provide knowledge, dance creates knowledge. Sublime message, for brains subtle enough to perceive it!
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