This post is less for others, and more for myself. I always viewed this blog as a platform for me to express my technical ideas in the field and nothing more. Ironically, it is the only personal tangible medium for me to be able to historically look back and examine my development, progression and regression over the years. I am not one to take photos or videos of my experiences, I just like to read and write. If you are anyone, other than myself, do not expect to understand or enjoy reading.
You are not one for many words, especially when concerning yourself. You come from very humble beginnings, always kept your head low and never thought too highly of yourself. You understood from a very young age that potentiality is only enabled through hardwork and that opportunity manifests itself in very sporadic ways, often sooner than you expect it and more often later than you want it. You are an exceptionally stubborn person—though I suppose that worked in your favour somehow.
You are always one to lend your ear and less often your tongue unless requested. You are always capable of exercising empathy, while remaining honest and direct. You developed core values that are the kernel of which makes you, you. All the while not only accepting, but reaching out for change and questioning all opinions and facts that you have cultivated over the years. Although cold and indifferent at times (most times), you bloom in the presence of those that you love and care about. Most importantly, this decade you have learned that sometimes in life all you really need is someone to look at you the right way and if that someone places their trust in you, to fight tooth and nail to do right by them. This decade, be that person to someone else. Looking back, I am beyond proud of who you have become. A smart, kind and humble boy with so much left to give back to the world. To the future you, I ask you to always remember to look back.
I want to end this short letter by transcribing another letter that was written to you exactly a decade ago. A letter by an old teacher and friend.
June 10, 2010
I feel quite strange writing this letter. I haven't ever written a letter to a student. However, the conversation we had in my office touched a lot of chords, and made me put pen to paper. In a certain measure, the aim of the session in my office was for you to vent out your anger, disappointments and sadness. I hope that somehow this objective was reached. However, what it certaintly did was make me reflect and for this I thank you.
When I decided to become a teacher—this is now a few years ago, I had strong ideals. I believed in the potential and goodness of each individual and sincerely thought that through teaching I could help students to become better people, live better lives, and ultimately live in a happier society. I was not only interested in passing on the knowledge of a subject, but also in encouraging students to work on themselves. As the years rolled by, this enthusiasm started to wane.
My conversation with you was like a form of stock-tacking. It made me go back and think seriously, particularly on this academic year that is about to finish. And I realise that even I have erred a number of times. So, Juxhin, I need to apologise for the number of times I allowed my anger to take over, for the number of times I did not weigh my words too carefully, for the number of times I failed to understand my students and for the number of times I forgot to comprehend the struggle that adolescence brings with it. And most of all, for the times that I did not give a complement to my students, a brief kind work to take home with as a token and to use when the storm of life erupts.
Like you, I have always needed to prove myself. I too had a particular past, and because of this, I always tried to be accepted by others, my only desire to be loved as I am. Like you, school was my only refuge. In my case, I was a quiet student—so I never had issues with school discipline. But in spite of this, I always desired to be accepted and often felt the weight of this crushing on my shoulders.
You had said that one day you will be someone. These words are prophetic, because I am sure as much as I sure that I am breathing now, that one day soon you will be somebody great and important in society. However they [your words] are not only prophetic, they are already actualised. Juxhin you are a bright and intelligent boy. Your depth and profoundity of thinking are developed. You are sharp and agile. You are philosophical and very sensitive. You are a great person and I feel honoured and privileged to have spent a year of my life with you. I look forward to meeting you in a few years and celebrating the success that you have achieved.
I wish you all the best for the present and future,
This year I met this person again over a cup of coffee and presented them again with this letter.