Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Little Discipline with Love





Pappan sir, is our new teacher at Darpana. He is great. Super talented, dedicated, thorough and a strict disciplinarian. Sure our kids are only 12 years old or so, but when he says do this exercise with your eyes looking forward, he means exactly that. Don’t even take a peek to the side!
Today, I had to step out of practice to have a discussion with Nisargbhai about the script. When I came back for prayer and meditation with the group, in the circle of sharing Bharat shared that the kids are still not being completely disciplined. They are once in a while, looking to the side, doing actions when they are told to just watch, giggling when they make a mistake.  We then had a discussion about the difference from just trying to do a show and doing a professional show. All the kids agreed that its our intention to do a professional show. But for that to happen, we all need to first be extremely disciplined and have complete faith in our teachers. In order to make a point out of this conversation I told the kids that they have to accept a punishment for today. They agreed and we decided not to have our nasto (snacks – milk and bananas) after prayer.
The next day after English class we did an exercise to help further nurture this discipline in the kids. They had to get in their lines and for 15 minutes straight, they have to do whatever Bharat and I tell them, WHILE only looking straight ahead. If there is even the slightest movement of pupils to the side, up or down, we start the fifteen minute clock again (they are free to blink J ).
The exercise started, but every 3 or 4 minutes, somebody slipped. So we started over. It was getting really tiring and difficult. Many kids’ eyes started tearing. After about 15 minutes of the exercise we had a longer talk: That there’s no way out, unless everyone as a team and as individuals stay focused and dedicated to the action of looking forward. Every second talking to themselves in their mind that they have to keep looking forward. We even started distracting them to make it more difficult. But they finally stayed strong. 1 minute passed. 5 minutes passed. 12 minutes passed and finally 15 passed.
We stopped with a round of applause. All the kids were exhausted…BUT…said they could do it for even longer…30 minutes?
But we left it at that. They did a wonderful job, and hopefully today at practice they’ll remember that experience and stay more focused.
With Love and discipline.

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