Once I was invited by a renowned public school of Rampur to speak to children about the core values of life. This is a subject dear to my heart and so I accepted the invitation and a programme was fixed accordingly. When I reached the school and spent a few minutes in the principal’s office, I was cautioned by him that it was a difficult assignment for me, as children these days hardly understood the meaning of values. I was surprised to hear such a statement coming from the principal of a reputed school but took the advice in right perspective. It, however, had the effect of making me more determined to make my talk effective and I set my mind accordingly.
Soon, thereafter, I had to face a large number of students aged perhaps from 10 to 16 years. They looked enthusiastic and keen to listen. This encouraged me further and as I faced them my initial words were, “My dear young friends, your principal has asked me to speak to you regarding the core values of life, but I will not speak about them and in turn make you speak on values, as you are the true epitome of values and not us.” This opening remark cheered them up and they prepared themselves for the ensuing interaction. My next query to them was about the student who had scored the highest marks in class ten. There was a boy who stood up and told me that he had scored the highest marks in class ten. I asked him to come forward and tell others about the secret of his success. He told his fellow students that he worked hard and studied regularly and that was the secret
of his success. At this, I posed a question whether ‘working hard’ or ‘being regular in studies’ were values or not. To this there was a collective response from the children that it was so. Then I put up another question and asked if there was any one who liked to have a liar as a friend. There was none, after which I asked whether they liked a truthful friend or not. To this there was a uniform response in the affirmative. Once again I asked whether ‘truthfulness’ was a value of life or not and there was no dissent on this also. In this way, I asked similar questions on the other values of life like kindness, compassion, pardon, sharing, helping, etc., and not a single student had dissenting views on the fact that they all are the core values of life, which are necessary for our happiness and success.
Having established my point, I told them why faith in core values of life was shaking these days, as was the intention of the principal and what we all needed to do to restore them. This was also done in a logical and convincing manner. I was pleasantly surprised by the positive response of children, which only reaffirmed my faith that children are the real epitome of values. The fault, if any, lies with us who fail to display these values in our lives and blame children that they don’t understand them. My message was well-delivered during this interaction, which of course the principal also very graciously acknowledged.