Respect and Hard Work

Earlier today I sat in a class. It was absurd for me to do so since I have already taken that subject two years before. But even though I could just go home and sleep, or play a game, or whatnot, I decided to stay put in that seat since the instructor was someone I knew. He actually was our former Editor-in-Chief. And so I attended the class.

He had a couple of virtues that he wanted to be implemented inside the classroom. One of which is Respect, which, he explained, isn’t necessarily bowing to someone. As he said, that kind of respect is earned. But the degree of respect that he wanted for all his students to have and give is the kind that listens to everyone who speaks in front, even though he has a very different opinion on a particular subject matter. It is given, because he or she is a fellow human being. That ought to command at least that kind of respect.

Another thing, which made a bigger impression on me, and which actually motivated me to publish this one is Hardwork. For him it is about trying to do as you are required, even more. For him, it’s okay if someone doesn’t make the cut, or sweep him off his feet with the results of his or her performance; we are not all equal in terms of strengths and intellectual capacity. What he needed to see is for his students to strive hard, even though the project is harder and foreign, and even though he’s not good at it. What he needs to see is for the person to try and give his best, that’s all. That would be reason enough for him to give that student a passing grade.

That struck me deeply since we’ve been bred in a world that’s so result-driven. It doesn’t matter how you got the correct answer, so long as you got it, we’ve been trained. That’s why plagiarists and plunderers abound. In the classroom, cheating is a practice that’s so hard to eliminate because we were taught that it’s the final grade that matters. Never mind if you stole someone else’s idea, so long as you succeeded and got the winner’s trophy. Never mind if you cheated, so long as you’re ranked #1.

This world needs different people, changed people, thinking people. We have an inexhaustible supply of robots and thieves already, and so we need not add any further reinforcements. What you need to do is to be yourself, then think and work hard.

It’s sad, because I wasn’t able to record everything he said. But I’ll try to live it out, and make his words come alive in me.


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