This happened at a PTA meeting at a well known girl’s school in Kolkata.
The principal gave her opening speech, and then she took out a piece of white paper, held it in her hand and told the parents that similar pieces of paper will be distributed amongst them. They were a bit confused and curious too as to what was the need of this piece of paper.
Anyhow, once they had the paper in their hands, the Sister told them to think about each time when their child fared badly in her exams, and each time they said “Oh, you are a failure”. They were asked to tear a piece out of the paper for each time and let it drop. Tear a piece every time they told their child that she was good-for-nothing. The times when they rebuked her for not achieving the result 'They' wanted. Every time they compared her to a friend, or a cousin, who they thought were shining examples of excellence, and their child wasn’t.
Every time they let her weep into her pillow at night, because she didn’t manage to get an A.
After she had finished her speech, there weren’t any bits of paper left in anyone’s hands. She was silent for some time, and then she asked the parents if they knew what that piece of paper actually represented. The parents knew; they were just too stunned to react.
There was silence in the hall. She said then....that piece of paper was the soul of their children, which lay tattered and torn around them. Every time parents try to make their children into what they want them to be, and not accept them the way they are; those tender souls are maimed and injured. Some of these gentle souls never heal.
A powerful message indeed.
It breaks my heart every morning the newspaper carries the stories of all those little souls whose hearts were broken as they didn’t know how to face the world because their parents couldn’t give them that confidence. So they take the easiest way out, by ending their short tender life.
Let children bloom in all their glory - some vibrant in colour, some not. Some with heady fragrances, some subtle. They all have one thing in common – they are all precious, and we should spend every moment of our lives telling them this.
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