mr. sb is a teacher. he has his own tuition center. ask him why he works so hard, driving himself almost insanely, and youll get a straight from the shoulder reply – “because im making money!”. were you expecting him to be a dreamy eyed, soft, diffident intellectual? wrong number then! this man is a scathing un - nobody else I know can so classily reduce you to worm status in two seconds! at worst, in his weaker moments, or when you catch him off guard, he may even admit to a “I just think education is important”.
he can help you out of your most intense depression equally competently and help you deal with your disillusionment and teenage angst - that’s what he does pretty often outside class hours. theres an endless stream of students waiting to see him, and get what they most need - a grin here, a thump on the back there, a wicked joke and banter somewhere else, or a long patient conversation and a soothing audience where it is needed. service with a smile (and what a smile it is! it starts with a lively twinkle in eyes and many times finishes with a wild cackle!)
I have rarely seen any other person make such a dedicated effort to be available to young people, to listen without prejudice, to offer support without making false promises and guarantees, or simply, teach so well with passion and humour… oh, and did I mention hes a feminist? :)
the next person – mrs. rj. I have never spoken to her without coming back stunned and overwhelmed by the depth of her wisdom. she casually tosses nuggets as we talk, and I come back home totally saturated, unable to think any more. the first thing I do is scribble down every word I can recall. I know ill regret it all my life if I don’t make use of such a torrent of knowledge!
shes a healer – I suppose many of us would know someone or the other who just has a gift for healing people – it may be through allopathy, psychiatry, alternative healing, yoga, counselling… whatever. well. shes a healer. and a really good one. she knew she was able to help people, so she worked for many years helping cancer patients. free of charge.
shes also an incredibly easy person to be honest with. you can say any damn thing aloud – if she hasn’t already calmly pre empted you, shell certainly listen to you without being shocked or flustered.
and then there is a couple. drs s. and s. by choice they have not had children because they want to work insane hours so that they will be available to as many people as possible. theyre both psychiatrists. (yes, as you probably know by now, ive a rock bottom opinion of psychiatry, but I still really like and respect these people because theyre just such NICE, kind people!)
they’ve again that natural flair for healing and soothing people. if you see mrs dr s, youd see what I mean: she has a face like a tree. you see it and automatically take a deep breath and feel at peace! it’s a strange face for at once it is so very old and so very youthful in its maturity. its been there, seen the worst and is still around and laughing. this couple works with suicidal people, depressed, disturbed, and traumatised people, but their special driving force is for working to help drug addicts.
ive had the tremendous good fortune to know them. and knowing them, its easy to learn to respect the living. I cannot reconcile to lowering standards for people, or saying that we are inherently bad, or “only” humans because I know that folks like these walk the earth.
this blog is a year old today. it is a place where I think aloud - and most of what I think has been shaped by these people. I treasure those long talks and can remember vividly feeling lost and dazed because the foundations of my world were being quietly, steadily shaken to teach me to rebuild it better!
to the four most awesome teachers ive had - salut!
Labels: my life