The Real Definition of Passion and Patience
I believe passion is the fuel of a heart sold to meaningful contribution to the cause of humanity. This is the heart, who truly cares, knowing that when the noise of activities is over and an unbiased arbiter, known as time pry into the works of our hands for the purpose of rewards, the acid test shall be our commitment to a mission with all of our heart.
In my working with teachers, I have come to discover that most teachers determine the kind or level of care they should give to children by the kind and the level of care they receive from the school system. When there is a demand on their care for the child, they say things like, ‘how much are they even paying me.’ I agree that remuneration or even condition of service is important and I have taken time to deal with that earlier. They are known as external motivation. As important as excellent conditions of service are to performance, they are inferior to motivation by conscience, which we call intrinsic motivation. Every teacher must be motivated more by their conscience than they are motivated by physical rewards.
As I always tell teachers, when you limit your contribution to what you are being paid, you also limit your self-worth to what you are being paid. When you make contribution according to what you are being paid, you are confirming that that is your true worth. But when you make contributions according to your real capacity and also do ‘and then some’ what you are saying is that you are bigger than what you are being paid. In due season, life will take up your case and ensure, you are being remunerated according to your capacity, which you have freely given expression to despite what you are being paid.
I tell teachers that their promotion is always in their hands. I also tell them that no one can truly pay a teacher, who does her work well, except God. A teacher, who teachers with conscience are buying shares in the destiny of the children they are working with. These are shares, which value only appreciate and are not subject to the vicissitudes of the market forces. The dividends are signed, sealed and delivered under God.
I tell teachers, that the destiny of the children under their care demands all of their care and if they are able to trust God to meet this high demand, they open an account for themselves in God’s divine bank. I tell teachers that I believe that the rewards of teachers are in heaven but that they do not need to get to heaven to reap it. I give the illustration of a person, who runs a current account with a bank. He does not need to get to the bank to make withdrawals from the account. All he needs to do is to send his cheque. Once there is complete mandate and the account is mobilized to the tune of the amount stated on the cheque, it will be honoured. The cheque is returned if there is incomplete mandate or the account is not founded. I tell teachers that in most cases by virtue of how they do their work, their account is never funded and therefore, they are not able to make withdrawals.
It is time to begin to make tangible deposits into your divine account by making a decision to care wholly for the children under our care. It is time to begin to know that as teachers, we first owe ourselves and the destiny of the children under our care performance. We must come to a point in our professional life that we must take the honourable decision that it is either I CARE or I QUIT.
Permit me to submit that Care comes from an understanding of the object of CARE. Therefore permit for the purpose of this discussion to again run through the words, ‘Children’ and ‘Teenagers’ as acronyms. Let me begin with CHILDREN:
- Care: the child is created to be tended and cared for. Their best is brought out when they are nurtured. Amanda Cater sums up the impact of proper care thus: ‘If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn; If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight; If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy; If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty; If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient; If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident; If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate; If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice; If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith; If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself; If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.’
- Heritage: the greatest legacies parents can bequeath to the world are well trained children. We affirm that any other legacy that is bequeathed to our world at the expense of the child will meaningless to it (world). Thus we share Abraham Lincoln profound thought that, ‘A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started. He is going to sit where you’re sitting, and when you’re gone; attend to those things, which are important. You may adopt all the policies you please, but how they are carried out depends on him. He will assume control of your Cities, States, and Nation. He is going to move in and take over your churches, schools, universities and corporations. The fate of humanity is in his hands.’
- Individuality: According to Maria Montessori, ‘life does not begin at three or whenever he enters pre-school, nursery class, kindergarten or first grade. Life begins at the moment of conception, and at that moment we were faced with a cell so microscopic that it cannot be seen with the naked eye but which hold within itself all the potentialities of the human being it is to be.’ Custodians of the life of the child must also make it a point of duty not to compare one child to the other. Each child must be treated according to his or her peculiarity and must be given the respect, care and attention his or her individuality deserves. To do the foregoing, it means the custodian must pay adequate attention to studying carefully every child in his or custody.
- Leadership: children are not leaders of tomorrow. The child begins to show leadership trait from a very tender age. The truth is the leadership part of the child’s life is not put on hold when other areas develop. Leadership is responsibility; children begin to take responsibility at very tender age. Parents either snuff out the trait or fan it into blossoming into fruition. We are committed to the latter.
- Delightful: the child is without guile. He is innocent, pure and therefore fun to be with. The child innocence and carriage teach us that we are created with a free spirit, partnered after the image and likeness of the Creator. The child is delightful; we make a firm commitment to make sure he does not lose this quality that endears him to his world as an object of favour.
- Respect: the child deserve every respect his individuality, which we have earlier established deserves. In all that we do, we will respect the child and take into cognisance that is a complete human being, who deserves to be treated with respect.
- Engage: we make a commitment to engage our children. We share the thinking of Erin Gruel that we must ‘Engage, Enlighten and Empower’ to get the best out of our children. We are conscious of the fact that the duty to engage our children will be time consuming; we are however ready to pay the price. We are willing to communicate to our children that they can always share with us, the deepest of their thoughts and feelings and get the support needed. We also understand that to engage may in some cases include discipline.
- Now: child’s development is now. It cannot be postponed. Our efforts are therefore geared towards ensuring that our children receive the NOW attention.
Let us quickly consider the word, T-E-E-N-A-G-E-R as an acronym. Remember that the whole essence of this exercise is for us to be reminded of the fact that until we know the children we are to care for with all our heart, we may not be in a good position to care for them as we should do or as we even desire.
- Transition: this is the most conscious time of the child’s transition to adulthood. It is a period where the child is very conscious of his status. His consciousness, in most cases is not a function of his decision; it is a function of nature. A lot of times he desires freedom so much that he cannot wait to taste it and on the other hand his faint awareness of the responsibilities that comes with freedom strikes in him fear. The truth is how the teenager handles this delicate period depends on how much work the parents have done to prepare him.
- Energized by Nature: being young does not mean physical or emotional weakness. Teenagers are strong and have a lot of energy. The energy must not be tamed or gagged for whatever reason; it must only be directed in the right and positive direction to enhance the peace of the family and community at large.
- Exposed to Being Underrated: parents and the society have the tendency to underrate teenagers. Their knowledge and ability to do good or evil is seriously underrated by the parents and society. Therefore their genius and delinquency shock us alike.
- Nearly Fully Formed: According to Maria Montessori 80 percent of the child’s personality is formed between age 0 and 6. This goes without saying that a teen is almost fully formed in believe, values and habits. The hope for change is however guaranteed by the scientific fact that the brain does not reach its maximum weight. The implication is that it is too late to relate with the children at teenage age with force. We must learn to reason with them lest we provoke then to anger.
- Adventurous: the teenage mind yearns for adventure. It is one of the characteristics of transition. It dares many things because he has not made many mistakes. Where he has made many mistakes, it is either he has not suffered the consequences or he is partially or totally unaware of the consequences of his mistakes. It is therefore our responsibility to fan the spirit of adventure and at the same time introduce the word, caution into his dictionary.
- Geared Towards Pleasure/Pressure: the teenager loves pleasure. His environment capitalises on this singular need to put pressure on him. Thus in most cases when his real issues are not carefully identified and properly addressed, he becomes a victim of peer pressure and tends to bow. Thus he becomes the target of merchants of vices like pornographies, drugs, alcohol, indecent clothing, negative media, sex, abortion, lesbianism.
- Eager for Identity: transition affects status and nomenclature. We are conscious of the fact that teenagers are always in search of identity. Besides they yearn to be integrated into the society and given their rightful place. We pledge to help our teens resolve their crisis of identity through knowledge.
- Reality Deficiency: a lot of teenagers are not at home with reality. They are sold to fantasy. This is due to the fact that they are yet to come to terms to the real issues of life. Therefore they tend to be shallow. Their choices in most cases are determined by their emotional instinct. Therefore they are not ready for the consequences of their actions in most case. We take it as our responsibility to make our teens face reality and become conscious participants in the affairs of life.
Still in the spirit of caring for the child, the teacher must also have on his or her finger tips the five basic needs of children
- Every child needs SOMEONE to BELIEVE– A Role Model
- Every child needs SOMETHING to BELIEVE – Values
- Every child needs SOMEWHERE to BELONG–Family and Community
- Every child needs SOMETHING to BECOME– Aspiration to Significance and Pursuit of Inner Potential
- Every child needs the AFFIRMATION of his FREEDOM and RESPONSIBILITY- A sense of dignity and self-worth
The teacher ought to learn by heart the four ways by which a child can be abused. This will help him or her not to be an author of any kind abuse to the child and also stand to prevent or curb any form of abuse of the child.
- Physical Abuse: any physical injury done intentionally to a child. Physical abuse endangers or impairs the child’s physical or emotional health and development. Physical abuse includes shaking a very young baby, (e.g., Battered child).
- Sexual Abuse: is when a child (sometimes even toddlers and babies) is used sexually by someone older. This includes everything from obscene exposure to touching the genitals in a sexual way and rape, (e.g., Raped child).
- Emotional Abuse: includes constant yelling and threatening behaviour, scaring the child or playing games with their emotions, (e.g., abandoned child/Child affected by war and armed conflict/Trafficked child).
- Neglect Abuse: is when a child doesn’t have enough food, love, care and attention. He/she may have not enough to eat, injuries may be left untreated, clothes may not be warm enough, the child may be dirty and at risk of infection, or they may be left alone, (e.g., Child deprived of basic needs/Neglected child/Street child/Abandoned child).
Our discussion here will not be complete if we do not consider what I consider to be the Operating Principles of the CARE for the child:
|According to Ed Louis Cole says they are:
- Intimacy (not familiarity)
- Discipline (not punishment)
- Love (not unguarded pampering)
- Value (not dogmatism)
Create in the child, a sense of
Inner strength (character)
It is important to note that the goal of discipline or chastisement is to bring out the best in the child. This becomes impossible if the dignity of the human person of the child is trampled upon in the process.
This will not produce a disciplined child but an intimidated child. For anyone to live a disciplined life he or she must have a healthy self image of himself or herself. Discipline or chastisement is the process through which the self worth of the child is sharpened and built.
Therefore discipline or chastisement is a delicate process, which must be carefully done. It does not answer to anger. When it is done in anger, it produces an angry child instead of a discipline one. When it is done in peace and wisdom it has eternally positive impact on the child.
I must add this as a piece of advice to the boards of schools. I think the board needs to begin to see the teachers as the number one customers of the school and not the parents. When they see the teachers as their number one customers, they will treat them as kings. The result is that they will also in turn treat the pupils as kings. The truth is that there is no parents, who will not be delighted to take their children to a school where they (children) are treated as kings.
The Confession of the Teacher, who CARES…
Is there a CHILD YOU want to save today?
I mean a CHILD YOU want to lift.
Is there a CHILD you want to befriend?
I mean a CHILD YOU want to love.
Is there a CHILD YOU want to love?
I mean a CHILD YOU want to protect and perfect.
Is there a CHILD YOU want to bless today?
I mean a CHILD YOU want to honour.
Is there a CHILD YOU want to send an angel to?
I mean a CHILD YOU want to help.
Is there a CHILD YOU want to give direction by YOUR SPIRIT?
I mean a CHILD YOU want to comfort.
Is there a CHILD YOU want to visit?
I mean a CHILD, whose story YOU want to change forever.
Yes, dear LORD,
I know there is a CHILD YOU want to reach;
I mean a CHILD YOU want to reveal YOURSELF to in the FLESH,
As a FATHER, who daily and generously LOADS
His CHILDREN with BENEFITS and TREASURES.
So, here I am dear LORD,
Made in YOUR IMAGE and LIKENESS,
Don’t look too far.
I am GOOD TO GO,
I mean I am LOADED TO GO.
I am a BLESSING,
A JOY of MANY GENERATIONS.
Meet our Models
Janusz Korchak was a medical doctor, who abandoned his profession to give his life to the children under his care to the point of death. The holy writ says that there is no greater love than this for a man should lay down his life for his friends. This was exactly what Janusz did. Having loved the children under his care he loved them to the end, typifying the very spirit of Christ, who laid down his life for the sins of the world.
Janusz Korczak aptly summed up his life thus, “the lives of great men are like legends-difficult but beautiful.
He grew up in a Jewish family and decided to study medicine. Janusz chose to lead another way of life and put his heart into the plight of the poor and orphaned children in Warsaw’s quarters.
Janusz was always fighting for a better community and education for the children. He was a principal for the children houses, a doctor, and paediatrician. It was Janusz Korczak, who introduced progressive orphanages designed as just communities into Poland, founded the first national children´s newspaper, trained teachers in what we now call moral education, and worked in juvenile courts defending children’s rights. His books: “How to Love a Child” and “The Child’s Right to Respect” gave parents and teachers new insights into child psychology. Generations of young people had grown up on his books, especially the classic “King Matt the First, which tells of the adventures and tribulations of a boy king who aspires to bring reforms to his subjects, which central theme is child participation.
Then World War II began in 1939. Under the regime of the Nazis in Warsaw, they created the Jewish ghetto and the orphan house and where forced to move there. Instead of protecting himself, Janusz lived with the children under inhumane conditions.
When, on August 5, the Germans rounded up the two hundred children he had cared for, Korczak stayed with them during their “deportation” from the orphanage, to the trains, to Treblinka Camp. People who observed Korczak and “his children” walking to the train describe the children holding hands, carrying knapsacks and marching with dignity. Janusz was a courageous and brave man to stay with his orphans. All perished at Treblinka.
The child participation philosophy of Korczak is predicated upon his conclusion that ‘within each child there burned a moral spark that could vanquish the darkness at the core of human nature. To prevent that spark from being extinguished, one had to love and nurture the young, make it possible for them to believe in truth and justice and express same.
When a heart is made of gold, it turns everything it touches into gold. When the a man or woman breeds a giant hope in his/her mind, he/she dares to climb the highest of mountains, without consulting with flesh and blood. When a heart is fired by genuine love for humanity, even in the lowest state in life, it reaches himself/herself and brings out water from the desert of seeming impossibility.
When a man or woman seeks the approval of the Almighty and would not dance, but to the audience of One, the rewarder of all men, he/she leans on His wisdom and choose to keep his/her contribution to the advancement of the cause of humanity a matter between him and his creator. For a student in school, it is the opinion of the teacher or examiner that matters after an exam is conducted. Therefore discussing one’s answer with fellow students after the exam is an exercise in futility.
Mama Ekundayo, as she was fondly called, an African, of Nigerian origin, did not and could not teach in the eloquence of words, she lived them in glowing measures. She was a woman with a great difference. She lived all her life nurturing, catering, and giving hope to orphans and the abandoned. She was a woman with a heart of gold, who selflessly dedicated 40 years of her live to the cause of abandoned children and made all the difference in their lives. Mama was more than a teacher; she was a model, despite her lack of formal education. What she lacked in formal education, she had in a heart for the children. The journey started in 1969 with the establishment of an orphanage home known as ‘Ekundayo Children Home’ in Isanlu Makutu, Kogi State.
Mama Ekundayo had no steady source of income, but she was determined to make a difference with the little in her possession. Without any kind of support from the government, she took care of over 469 children. In a country, where image making is rated over true character, Mama Ekundayo refused to be lured into the wile of her time, quietly; she served humanity to the best of her capacity. The world did not hear about her until 2005, when a company Limited by Guarantee, Link-a-Child, located her, while raising funds for orphanage across the country. The truth is, when we are diligent in our service to humanity, it is a matter of time the world will find us out. So it was with Mother Teresa.
She exemplified the whole essence of love, gave her own share as regard impact, and set a record worthy of emulation. Mama died on the 25th of May 2009, at the ripe age of 95, thus marking an end to a glorious and fulfilled life.
Hind al-Husseini was a woman who converted her grandfather’s mansion into an orphanage a woman notable for rescuing 55 orphaned survivors of a massacre, after they were dropped off and left to fend for themselves. In April 1948, near the Holy Sepulcher Church, al-Husseini found a group of 55 children. Because of the dangers posed by the ongoing war, she told the children to go back to their homes. Shortly later, she returned to find the children had not left. One of the children explained that they have no home to return to and that they had survived the Deir Yassin Massacre.
Al-Husseini provided the children shelter in two rooms rented by the Social Work Endeavour Society, a women’s charity headed by Al-Husseini.She visited daily, accompanying and feeding the children. Fearful for al-Husseini putting herself at risk by making these trips in a warring area, the head of the Sahyoun convent convinced her to bring the children to the convent. Shortly after, the rooms were hit.
Al-Husseini later relocated the children from the convent to her grandfather’s mansion after the ceasefire. The mansion, which was built by her grandfather in 1891 and was her birthplace, was renamed Dar al-Tifl al-Arabi (Arab Children’s House). She transformed the mansion into an orphanage providing shelter to children survivors. Al-Husseini raised money, receiving funds from across the world. The orphanage grew and orphans from different villages and cities received their schooling at the orphanage including two Jewish girls who were not accepted at other schools.
One of the children raised by Al-Husseini was Rula Jebreal. Jebreal is today a successful and internationally acclaimed journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. Jebreal’s first novel Miral, written in 2003, was translated into 15 languages, selling millions of copies worldwide, and was eventually made into a film that was directed by Julian Schnabel, from Jebreal’s screenplay.
The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2010 to a 15 minute standing ovation, and won the UNICEF Protection of Children award.Miral held its U.S. premiere at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on March 14, 2011.Miral was the first film ever to have a premiere at the General Assembly Hall. Miral is the story the story of the survival of the children rescued by Al-Husseini.
Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…
Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…
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