As a child, doing the right thing is a tricky choice to make; mainly because there exists such a fine line between what is right & wrong. There is also a lot of ambiguity between the perceptions of what is right, so for children the confusion just mounts further. Many schools have Moral Science/Value Education lectures to teach the meanings of Honesty, Integrity, Kindness, Respect, Compassion, but frankly, as children we learn only when faced with real life situations which require the evocation of these values.
This happened when I was in 10th grade. My class teacher decided to pick a bunch of well-scoring students & make them sit for the whole year with the weakest students of the class. Apparently, the weakest students did not have the hope of even passing in the 10th Board exams. She took this decision so that the possibility of the weakest students passing in the exams increased to some extent.
I was one of the well-scoring students that my teacher had picked. As an introvert, who loved her fixed set of friends, I was skeptical about the idea. Moreover, I had my own first impression about the girl I was made to sit with. I thought of her as a spoilt brat & a student who didn’t take her studies seriously. My initial reaction was so negative, I simply did not want to sit with her! Of course, I had the option of getting my seat changed…
I could have spoken to my teacher & gotten a new bench partner but I decided to have some integrity towards the responsibility the teacher had given. I decided to help my new bench partner, after all I had nothing to lose! So, I opened up to her. Eventually, I came to know certain facts about her which surprised me. She knew her strengths & she definitely had an idea of what she wanted to do in future. She knew that academics were not her forte, so her sole aim was to get a decent score in 10th Boards or at least pass. She was suffering from Juvenile Diabetes, due to which she had her own health limitations, which further affected her academics.
When I came to know all this, one half of my mind was thankful for my fit body & mind, while one half felt a huge surge of compassion towards her. She deserved a fair chance, she needed someone to believe in her. So we started our efforts together. I helped her a lot in Maths, Science & her other weak subjects. I asked her to solve exercises every day. I shared my notes. We strategically worked our way till she was confident that she could pass. I made her give a lot of mock tests so that she could get comfortable with the exam pattern.
Finally, our 10th Boards were over & on the much awaited result day, she was euphoric. She got aggregate 55%… that might be a low score for most of us, but she had surpassed her own expectations. She was happy, her family was happy… I felt on top of the world! I could have shirked the responsibility easily… but I stuck to it & helped a deserving individual in overcoming a roadblock. It was one of the best days of my life. 🙂