Life: The Greatest teacher of them all

Posted on Sep 05, 2017 in Exploring Self Outside the Classroom


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On Teacher’s Day, let’s take a moment to look back on all the people, circumstances, situations and events that shaped our lives with the lessons they taught us. It is often said that there is no better teacher than life itself and what better way to say a big thank you for all the learnings that life throws at us, than being appreciative of these valuable lessons that makes us who we are.


Learning by doing, or not doing!

As a child, we are often told what we can and cannot do. But a child’s mind is curious and full of questions, and often when there is no explanation given for why we can and cannot do certain things, we do them anyway. We might end up getting hurt, but the experience itself teaches us a lot. We may also get to hear the proverbial ‘I told you so’, and ‘why did you do it when you were told not to?’ but whatever it is, if it caused any kind of pain or distress, you are unlikely to do it again. That is a lesson in itself.


We learn from everyone and everything around us

Living in a society, we are surrounded by people from different walks of life. We have our immediate and extended families, neighbours and friends, pets, teachers, trainers, helpers, drivers, doctors, storekeepers…the list is endless. We interact with people on a daily basis and knowingly or unknowingly, each interaction teaches us something. We learn by watching others, by listening to what others say, by observing actions and reactions, by doing what others do. Witnessing an act of kindness often prompts us to do something kind for others as well. Listening to what others have to say, positive or negative, has learning hidden in it. Watching a sporting event on television, walking your dog in the park, playing a game of basketball or cricket, having a conversation with your grandparents, buying groceries from your local market, dancing to music in your room, sitting by a beach, capturing a photograph, asking your parents how their day was, spending time with your friends – the most simple things we do has learning hidden in it.


Circumstances, good or bad, become our biggest teachers.

Very often, life throws unexpected circumstances at us. How we deal with those circumstances is what teaches us a lot about ourselves. Certain circumstances can turn our lives around a full 360 degrees. We question what happens to us and often say, ‘but why me?’ or ‘why not me?’ We seldom find answers to these questions, but the circumstances that we find ourselves in, however negative or positive, teach us endless lessons; lessons about ourselves, about others, about abilities within ourselves that we never knew existed, about new found strengths and talents, ways to deal with the circumstances and overcome them if required. And what’s more, we find ourselves better prepared to deal with things more effectively and efficiently, should a similar situation arise.



Listen to your inner voice

Follow your intuition. Listen to your inner voice. It knows you better than anyone else. When we find ourselves at crossroads in our lives, we seek out solutions from others on how to deal with a particular situation or person. While advice is always welcome, it can leave us confused and exasperated when we find ourselves getting advice from too many people. That’s when you look inwards, to yourself, to seek out a solution for what you are going through. Your inner voice is what becomes your guiding light. Engage in a mental dialogue with yourself and seek out your own answers.



In literal terms, life is defined as a characteristic distinguishing physical entities having biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased, or because they never had such functions and are classified as inanimate. Quite mind-boggling, you would think! Now to a more simplistic approach to life. Life is what we make it out to be. We enter this world on our own, we leave on our own. What happens in between is what our lives are made up of. Life teaches us the most important lessons that are there to learn, and thus life become the greatest teacher of all.



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