Jane stares at the Math question, she looks up at me innocently. I walked next to her and she whispers, “Teacher, this one plus ah?” I then pointed at the “addition” symbol and prompt her again, “What is this?” Undaunted she replied with all aglow, “Plus lor”. By this time, I knew I couldn’t refrain from being sarcastic as I heard my response to her, “If you use your eyes and see its a “plus”, why do you need me to tell you, yes, it’s a plus? Don’t you think its rather silly?” I continued further. The little boy seated next to her giggles away and a spontaneous laugh went up from everyone.

I’m sure my students will remember me with my familiar daily remarks; “Use your eyes and trust what you see. Then, use your brain.” Or the rather cynical one “Did you bring your eyes to class or is it sleeping at home?”

I’m not sure if any of my students will ever catch the drift of my sarcasm, but the lesson I hope to impart with them is; to trust own self and to have courage to do what you believe in.

We seek validation in life from an early age. Despite, knowing the fact and knowing the way to handle a particular problem, yet we seek validation from others. For instance, we get first place in class, we run home and tell our parents and wait for a good pat on the back. Then, as we grow older, we meet a special someone, we bring that partner home to meet our parents and wait for their approval. Why is that we seek such validation ? Isn’t it difficult enough that we can please our own standards ? Yet, we need approval from others, meeting standards of others? Let’s try to build confidence in ourselves and not rely on others to validate our decisions, our life. Before its too late, we may realise that you can’t please everyone and the worst is, sometimes what you choose or do with your life does not really matter to the one whom you think it mattered to.