School Time !

Today, the roads were a little too clogged. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the schools had reopened today ! There were the yellow buses and the red uniforms. Not forgetting the heavy satchels and the heavier minds !

It is the beginning of another year at school. Another year of the wonder years. As i ponder about the education that the kids of today are all set to receive, i hope they somewhere get ‘real’ education. Beyond books and empty competition. I recalled a letter that Lincoln is supposed to have written to his kids teacher.

Still relevant. Very very relevant. Thougth i would share !

He will have to learn,
I know, that all men are not just,
all men are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician, there is a dedicated leader…
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Steer him away from envy,
if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick…
Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…
But also give him quiet time to ponder
the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun,
and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him it is far honourable to fail than to cheat…
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong… Teach him to be gentle with gentle people, and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon…

Teach him to listen to all men…
but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him if you can, how to laugh when he is sad…
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness…
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob
and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right.
Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him,
because only the test of fire makes fine steel.

Let him have the courage to be impatient…
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order, but see what you can do… He is such a fine fellow, my son!

12 thoughts on “School Time !

  1. Keshi says:

    I hate when school terms start…trains r full of school kids n their BIG bags.


  2. shark says:

    The poem is indeed beautiful.

    Ah! school season and I can see maruthi vans jam packed with kids… supposedly their school van…

    I feel sad for these children.. they learn to “struggle” at a very yound age 🙁

  3. that was one long letter.

    everything in that letter is valid for today’s school going kid as well!

    how much of this did that kid actually end up learning and how much of it will mine learn a year from now ? thinking once, thinking twice…..

  4. Sriram says:

    ‘Sex’ education is something that we missed out on in school. With all the MMS clips going around, looks like today’s children are putting all that education to good use 🙂

  5. Jam says:

    Hey there,

    Although I am quite surprised that I haven’t actually read this complete poem first, am damn happy that I got to read it on your blog first. Considering that I m quite a regular reader of your blog, suffice to say that most of your posts are about people and incidents that I can relate a lot to.

    Anyways, brilliant post this one.


  6. Swatantra says:


    Thanks so much for sharing the letter of Lincoln…

    It is great!! The each and very thought of the letter is great!! It is a great tool in dealing with kids…

    I feel sad, when I see most of the people going far away from these simple and valuable thoughts!!

  7. priya says:

    A cute poem indeed and good luck to him for big adventure.

  8. Kavi says:

    Keshi: Imagine the load the young shoulders have to carry..! Is it the same there as well. I thought it was more of an Asian pehonomenon

    Sundar: Your have a dotting dad and mom ! No letter writing is necessary i guess !!

    Sri: You’ve got to exuse Lincoln for missing out Sex Education. He lived in the pre-MMS era ! For the current gen, absolute must !

    Jam: Thanks ! I am glad i have in some way been able to connect ! I first read the poem ages ago. A English teacher named Krishnamoorthy shared it with the class. It stuck to me since then !

    Swatantra: Yes ! Each word is a pearl ! As long as you impart this to Siddharth, you can stay happy ! what say ! 🙂

    Priya..: The poem is by Abraham Lincoln written to HIS son’s teacher !

  9. Kavi says:

    Shark: how could i miss the omnipresent omnis with bags on the railing and children at the windows ! They caused the traffic jams in the first place ! 🙂

  10. pria says:

    Kavi: That was too dumbh of me not knowing it. How stupid??

    Well had a good laugh thou’.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ooopps forgot to add. May be I read it too fast:)

  12. Kavi says:

    Pria : 🙂
    I thought as much. The speed that is!

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