Tag Archives: Inspiring

If You Love It, Teach It!

16 Mar

“The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.”  ~ Author Unknown

The best teacher that I have ever had stood out from all the dozens of others by one simple thing: love. This teacher loved what she taught, she loved teaching and she loved her pupils. Every time I was in her class, I felt as if that hour with her was sacred. She treated every pupil as her own child, and taught us in a way that showed us that we were just as important to her as she was to us. She truly wanted to share her knowledge with us, and to make us discover the happiness that she herself experienced through this subject. Through her honesty, openness, attention and care she did more than teach – she inspired.

In current times, it is rare to find a teacher with all of the above qualities. I have come across teachers who taught simply to make money, or because they couldn’t find another job; I have known teachers who were unqualified and unmotivated, and those who simply did not care about their students. Jacques Barzun rightly said that “teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition”. The current focus on passing exams and getting the best grades has transformed learning from a process of discovery to a process of repetition, regurgitation and memorisation. Teachers are no longer valued as our guides to self-discovery, and they are no longer respected as professionals with a wealth of knowledge.

There is never a shortage of eager students looking for the perfect teacher (all of us would love to learn one thing or another), but unfortunately, there is a shortage of eager teachers looking for the perfect student. Why is that? Because we have come to believe that being a teacher means having a qualification or a post to confirm our abilities. In fact, there is a teacher in all of us: we all have something that we love and that we would love to pass on to others. Last week-end, I taught yoga to a friend. We did a ‘proper’ class, with postures, sequences and techniques, and both of us came away happy. I am not a yoga master, nor am I trained as a yoga teacher, but yoga is something that I love, and something that I would love to pass on to others, and therefore it was a great pleasure for me to spend an evening teaching it to someone who was curious and willing to learn.

We all know how much joy it brings us to share our passion with others, and I believe that one of the best ways to do this is by teaching. Whether you love literature, singing, playing on the piano, gardening, knitting, swimming, writing, playing chess…there is someone who would love to learn from you. Whether in a formal or informal class, paid or free, with friends or strangers, regularly or irregularly, to a group or to an individual, sharing what you love is a gift. Don’t let your talents and your passions go to waste – pass them on!

If you love it, teach it!

When the Angels speak – listen!

15 Jan

It is hard not to believe in Angels when they speak to you so clearly. I have been referring to my mum’s pack of Angel cards whenever I have felt that I couldn’t find a good enough answer to my enigmatic life questions elsewhere. And their answers have been to the point each time.

The simplest version works like this: you shuffle through the deck of cards while concentrating on the question you’d like an answer to, or just on an area of your life that you need guidance on. Keep shuffling until you feel drawn, for any reason, to one of the cards in your hands. That is your answer.

So far, I have asked the Angels for relationship, family, career and ‘life direction’ advice. The cards that I pulled out either answered my question directly, or related precisely to the area of life that I was asking about. There are a couple of cards that I have pulled out more than once. Each had a similar message, saying that I would be helping people “during ordinary circumstances” and that I would soon be “reaching even more people”. I sat, I waited, I wondered what all this could mean and how it would manifest itself. And today I realised that one step towards this has been taken.

Upon starting my week-end shift at the independent bookshop, I noticed that we now have a Lifestyle section, for which I so hoped we’d one day make space! Noticing that its selection of books was lacking, I started compiling a list of the inspiring and life-changing books that I felt we needed to get for it. The act of compiling a list of books seemed so banal, that I barely gave it a second thought. Then suddenly I realised: I am going to be passing on the joy that I received from these books by recommending them to others. And here I was, as the Angel cards told me, “reaching a lot of people, through ordinary circumstances”.

Angel cards are one of many media through which we can receive messages, signs or answers. Other media appear in the objects and events of our everyday lives. Because of how ‘small’ and ‘insignificant’ the activity of making a list seemed, I almost overlooked what a wonderful opportunity this was to share something I love with potentially many other people. And at that moment of realisation, I finally grasped what Mother Teresa meant when she said that “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love”. What a great joy it is to know that in our humble lives, even the smallest things can make the biggest difference!