Dare to be Ruthless and Compassionate!

Illustration of bicycle leaning against wall
© Freepik

In my book, DARE, there is chapter on being both ruthless and compassionate, and I give the example of my teacher: Her name was Miss Bailey, she was English and she taught me in junior school. She cycled to school on a beautiful bike crafted in England, and on entering the school gate, she would hand over her graceful machine to any one of us eager boys or girls who would rush forward to park it for her.

It was a privilege when Miss Bailey handed her bicycle to you. One day Shankar stood at the gate: Shankar was a hunchback. We laughed, “Move out of the way. Shankar, Miss Bailey is going to enter!” Miss Bailey drove in and we all rushed offering our little hands to her for help. But Miss Bailey looked past us all.

Where was the kind Miss Bailey, we wondered. But she was looking past us at Shankar, and we shuddered. Was she going to make Shankar try to wheel the cycle, so he could fall and be the butt of our jokes? 

Cover of the September 2022 issue of The Teenager Today - Teachers' Day Special

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Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist with an estimated readership of 6 million. He also conducts a short-term writer’s course. Contact him at bobsbanter@gmail.com for more details.

Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist with an estimated readership of 6 million. He also conducts a short-term writer’s course. Contact him at bobsbanter@gmail.com for more details.