Saturday, April 25, 2015

The oak and the willow

In my last post I wrote about the final activity at our New Teacher Institute.  In this one I want to briefly mention our first activity.  The first ice-breaker we did was to each choose a photo that said something about us.  We stood in a circle and introduced ourselves and why we had chosen that photo.  Coming late into the circle there were few photos for me to choose, so I quickly picked one up.  It was a photo of someone looking through a pair of glasses - you could see similar but slightly different images of the person in the lenses.

This reminded me of something that one of our new teachers said to me last year, after she'd been in Mumbai for around a month.  She said there are times when you have to be like an oak.  You have to have deep and strong roots, which are your values.  You have to ensure that you stay true to these as they support you through the storms.  Oaks live for hundreds of years and survive a lot.  At other times you need to be like a willow.  A willow is flexible and bends with the winds.  Bending also allows the willow to survive.  Her point was that at times you need to be like a willow too. Sometimes things are very different in Mumbai than where you came from.  You need to be flexible and to go with the flow.

The secret to making a success out of life in India is simply this:  you need know when you need to be an oak and when you need to be a willow.

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