Dear parents and students,
Every academic session, a batch of Aksharites graduate from this institution after giving their Board exams to pursue their dreams and aspirations. We, as an institution, feel proud to see them mature from kindergarten kids to adolescents and wish them success in their future life. During the years at Akshara we consciously make an effort to instill in them five values which will make their lives meaningful, purposeful and happy.
1.Be a learner all your life – ‘Akshara the school that instills continuous learning’ is our motto. A motto in which we earnestly believe and endeavour to make our students – the global citizens who would continue to learn and grow. Einstein had once remarked – ‘I am not a genius; I am just curious’ and curiosity is fundamental to continuous learning. Buddhist philosophy fascinated me and few years back I enrolled in a Post graduate diploma in Buddhist Psychology and Psychotherapy from Pune University to become a learner again . It was so remarkable being a student after many years, to listen in the class, make notes, submit projects on time and most importantly to learn and relearn. In fact, Continuous Learning is an attitude which needs to be inculcated because “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”.
2. Give back to the society- The importance of giving back to others must not be overlooked by any one of us. When we contribute whether in a big or small way to the society, one begins to experience a special joy and purpose in Life. This purpose in life is the beginning of feeling positive and fulfilled. When we diligently work towards helping others, we create value in the life of others. ‘Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on the earth’. I found my purpose when nearly two decades back I gave up my corporate IT job and decided to help women from the lower strata of society coming to cities to earn a living. Through our Trust, I set up hostels in Delhi and Pune to provide safe accommodation to them for their first year in the city. Similarly our Trust, supports a Primary school for street children in Jalgaon and a blind boarding house, where men in their early twenties are taught how to prepare office files, dusters etc to earn their living with dignity. The smile on the faces of those whose lives I have touched in some way gives me purpose to do more good.
3. Learn to respond and not react – Most of us react to a situation and not respond. It is very vital that we comprehend the meaning of the two terms. Reactions are instinctual and stem from the subconscious mind. There’s no filtering process when you react in a situation. You are in an auto pilot mode. Responses on the other hand are more thoughtful. When you respond, you weigh the pros and cons of the situation, take a pause and analyse the situation and then choose a response which is befitting for both you and the others in that situation. Reactions generate unhappiness and responses create happiness. The exercise may seem simple but is a result of continuous and conscious practice of Mindfulness. Being a certified trainer of MISP (Mindfulness in Schools Program) from UK and been in this practice for 18 years, I felt the need to introduce Anapana in Akshara from Grade 1 onwards to create happy individuals. I firmly believe that ‘‘Between stimulus and response, there is a space. And in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
4. Extend Gratitude – In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Gratitude thus is the key to a happier and more fulfilled lives. Sometimes we take our loved ones, the comforts and the joys in our lives for granted; ponder and sit back and extend gratitude to all the people and things around you which gives you happiness. Extending gratitude may not come naturally to many of us but in Akshara, through various activities and programs we have endeavoured to make – “Extending Gratitude – A Way of Life”. So let’s make it a habit to say thank you in order to express appreciation of others sincerely without any expectation in return. Very soon you will have many people around you who truly appreciate life and you will have more of Life too.
5. Follow your Passion- Everyone talks about ‘Follow your passion and success will follow’. Following your passion is vital as it gives you a sense of purpose and innate happiness. Work may not seem work at all and one may want to reinvent oneself continuously. However, there would be times when failures may engulf you. In those situations remember that the word passion finds its origins in the Latin word ‘pati’ which means to endure and undergo experience. There will be difficult moments even while pursuing your passion but the key to success is to continue to strive harder. In my pursuit to follow my passion i.e. providing holistic learning to children I envisioned Akshara. My passion drives me to do more for our children and the perseverance keeps me going when challenges come my way because there is always light at the end of the tunnel which gives a meaning and purpose to my life.
I hope that these mantras may help you steer your life journey to a purposeful destination and the ride would be joyous and you will continue to strive because “Success is not final, Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts’’