I believe that investing in our children’s development from the earliest age is the single most important contribution we can make as parents, teachers, and mentors. Young minds are very fragile and vulnerable, and they are influenced entirely by their environment and the family. Wellness for students encompasses a healthy body, a sound mind, and a very peaceful and tranquil spirit. Guiding our children and showing them a way on this path of wellbeing is surely our moral duty.
I am reminded of an incident when I met a student at his cousin’s wedding. Udit is a father of two and works in Melbourne. Catching up with him I noticed that his eyes became moist and he thanked me. He told me that during our Physics classes I had shared a couple of anecdotes and stories about life and its purpose. Udit took me by surprise when he said that those words left an indelible mark on him and he has since felt very evolved exploring spirituality and philosophy. Coming from a young successful NRI, it was a pleasant surprise and all we could do as two individuals was to share a warm hug! I realised with great humility that our words, gestures, knowledge, experiences as teachers or mentors go a long way. When and where we leave our impression is indeed a puzzle.
Increasing wellness in young lives should be our constant endeavour and setting an example for them seems to be the best strategy. A determined focus on the value of gratitude does wonders to a failing morale or a low self-esteem. When we guide others on the joys and privileges that we have, we can mould a rewarding habit of being grateful and thankful. It is very easy for children to slip into a cocoon of self-pity, depression, and anxiety. They face many invisible enemies like peer pressure, broken relationships, and performance worries. A very important part of steering them towards wellness and stability is to give them support as patient listeners and non-judgemental guides.
Wellness to me is the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. Parents face great challenges as they deal with the changing dynamics of kids and the expectations they have. Teachers must play an equally important role in convincing students that however difficult life may seem, there is always something they can do and succeed at.
Helen Keller said, ” Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.” Every journey is a learning experience and students need not feel alone and isolated. Their pursuit of a passion or a goal should be appreciated and even mediocrity should be applauded. As adults our own wellness stems from the spontaneous smiles and responses from youngsters. When the family, the classroom, friends and peers experience life with compassion, patience, inclusiveness, and selflessness then, we can hope for a better feeling of self-worth.
When ‘ I ‘ is replaced by ‘ We’, even illness becomes wellness.
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