Friday, August 2, 2013

Sometimes We Have to Be Cruel to Be Kind : Day 2

Day 2: The most important lesson you learned from a teacher

I learned so many things from my teachers but  some stand out among the rest. Today, I am going to tell you about one of them.

When I was in fourth year college, we went on a religious retreat (we did this every year, actually).  That year the retreat was held in  Benguet....a town on the mountains, around 8 hours away from school.  We had to leave early.  Assembly time was at 6 am.  Departure time was at 6:30.  I've always been a punctual student, so I was so annoyed with my classmates who were still not around at 6:30.

We waited  for them for 30 minutes more...much to my dismay.  At 7:00, Sr. Viane, our teacher, decided we had waited long enough and that it was time for us to leave.

The bus exited the school gate. We hadn't been travelling for two minutes when one of my classmates suddenly said, "Sr. si Emily!" which is "Sr. it's Emily!" (not her real name) while pointing at a car traveling in the opposite direction.

Emily's  friends wanted us to turn around and go back for her. I was secretly hoping we wouldn't.  (Yes, that, I guess was my bad side.) I was excited and couldn't wait to get out of the city and see Benguet for the first time in my life.  Why waste time going back?!

When we were right in front of Magnolia House,  Sr. spoke in her gentle but firm voice, "We had waited for 30 minutes for her.  That is enough.  . In the real world nobody will wait for her.  She has to learn her lesson.  Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind."

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.  That stuck to me.  As a parent, as a teacher, there are really times when we have to be "cruel" in a way.  It's hard, I know, it breaks my heart.  But we all have to do it once in a while so that the little ones we love will learn the lessons they need to learn.

What about you? What was the most important lesson you learned from a teacher?


  1. I'm not sure what the most important lesson I learned from a teacher is at the moment, so I will give it some more thought. However, as a teacher, I am aware of the recent thing that every child has to succeed all the time. I personally think our failures are just as important as we learn what it feels like, how to deal with it, and then how to succeed next time by not making the same mistakes again. It teaches perseverence, courage and a thick skin for life's disappointments. So maybe, for me, the most important lesson I got from life is that things go wrong, it is ok, you can deal with it and either re-do it minus the mistakes you made before or realise it is an opportunity to go another route.


  2. I do agree with what the nun said. It's the best way to learn discipline, in accepting responsibility and facing consequences in the real world. Your teacher's wise in highlighting this valuable lesson. What stuck to me was what an upbeat young priest teacher taught us before graduating high school. He told us that once we get out into the world, we have to be careful. There is an invisible yet gigantic black board written on our foreheads where our thoughts are written and other people could sense or read if we think we're failures, it's written all over our foreheads and we will eventually fail, so we always have to be vigilant of what we think about. We become our thoughts. Since then, I became more conscious of what thoughts run through my head.


Paint a smile on my face by leaving a note.