My son, Shaamir, 5 year old, has just finished his Kindergarten and will now be attending 1st grade from the session starting August 2012. At this occasions, Mrs. Haque’s Montesorri had planned a “Graduation Ceremony”, today, May 19, 2012, at the Haque’s Academey Campus , DHA VIII, Karachi.
I must admit, when I learnt about the event, a small thought crossed my mind and I thought to myself, “Graduation Ceremony, 5 year old, going on to 1st Grade from Kindergarten?”. All the thought needed to be shrugged off was an innocent look on the face of my younger son, Shaamir, which communicated nothing but excitement. Of course, another look by the wife was also quite enough for me to plan attending the ceremony, a look which I would rather not describe here :-).
Having attended the ceremony, I must say it was well worth it. The hall was full of excitement of the parents of tender little children who will hopefully grow up to be the front-runners and at the helm of affairs of our country, irrespective of which field they may choose to be associated with. It was indeed heartwarming that after much hue and cry over the National Anthem issue and some certain private schools, the ceremony started with the National Anthem. A few welled-up eyes here and there told me there is still hope. Right after the Anthem, which was loudly sung along by parents as well, Mrs. Marcia Haque stepped up to deliver her welcome speech. It is that speech which got my utmost attention and hence I decided to share this with all of you. During her speech, she referred to some certain lessons learnt during Kindergarten which have been long forgotten. Small little values which make us what we are, or should I say, lack of which makes us what we are. In those few lines, I found the key to all our problems. I am reproducing here below parts of her speech with a silent prayer that these lessons which we all learnt before all else become an integral part of our lives, as they were meant to become.
“Today is about the boys and girls graduating on to Grade 1. These are the men and women of tomorrow….At this juncture, we must say to them as the Quaid-e-Azam said to us: You must devote yourself wholeheartedly to your studies, for that is your obligation to yourselves, your parents and to the State. You must learn to obey, for only then you can command” Mrs. Haque went on as she mentioned Robert Fulghum who said, “All I really needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten.” and then he went on to mention all those lessons which he learnt at that tender age qualifying them as the only thing he ever needed to learn. These lessons were:
- Share everything
- Play fair
- Don’t hit people
- Put things back where you found them
- Clean up your own mess
- Don’t take things that aren’t yours
- Say you are sorry when you hurt somebody
- When you go out, watch out for traffic
- Hold hands and stick together
I thought to myself, what golden words, what marvelous message. I felt sad how far we have grown from these basic values which were instilled in us. Or at least efforts were put to do so. The lessons stated above… aren’t they a solution for almost everything. From personal lives to neighborhoods, countries, and the world at large. What problem cannot be resolved by adopting these simple rules?
I believe the sooner these lessons become us, the better. These words have definitely fallen on our ears at some point in time in our lives, but let us now take that step and make them our lives.
At the end, my gratitude to Mrs. Marcia Haque for reminding us of these golden lessons which have far been lost somewhere.