We are in turbulent times facing crisis of varied types owing to the pandemic COVID -19 caused by corona virus. The virus that was unheard of, unfamiliar and unknown suddenly appeared and shattered the dreams of everyone - young and old, sick and healthy, literate and illiterate, rich and poor. Everything is got closed down unexpectedly and everyone got locked up globally, experiencing fear, chaos, confusion, anxiety and disturbance. The movements, travel, business, clubs, parks, restaurants, celebrations, amusements came to a standstill. Social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands multiple times, using sanitizers, being quarantined either by oneself or imposed, became the norm of the day. In a word, life got disrupted, excluding none round the globe!

In this context, the educational ambience is in a mess. When students in the Southern parts of India were getting themselves ready to appear for their final exams and students from the Northern side were about to begin their new academic year, everything came a sudden halt, leaving everyone watch helplessly the havoc created by the disastrous virus, threatening disease, menacing infection and killing corona. Right now, concerning education, everything seems undefined. The Management, stakeholders, staff and students are in nightmare, with their fingers crossed.  

In such a gloomy and melancholic atmosphere, we need to find a way out, make the way forward. We need to accept that life is much bigger than the killer corona, larger than the devastating virus and higher than the frightening pandemic. At this juncture, we need to gather positive energy and emerge as heroes, victors, champions, conquerors and not subjugators. Certainly, it requires conscious effort to look at the greener side, better side, which is possible only through inner strength and supernatural grace. We need to fly from the branch that keeps us low and downcast. Perhaps the following anecdote can help us in this regard.     

Once there was a king who received a gift of two magnificent birds. They were special birds, most beautiful he had ever seen. He gave the precious birds in the hands of his trainer and asked him to train them skilfully.  Months passed, and one day the trainer brought to the notice of the king that though one bird was flying majestically soaring high in the sky, the other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived. The king summoned healers and sorcerers from all the land to tend to the bird but no one could make the bird fly. He presented the task to the member of his court, but the next day the king saw through the palace window that the bird had still not moved from its perch. Having tried everything else, the king thought to himself “May be I need someone more familiar with the countryside to understand the nature of this problem.” So he cried out to his court, “Go and get a farmer.” In the morning, the king was thrilled to see the bird soaring high above the palace gardens. He said to his court, “Bring me the doer of this miracle.” The court quickly located the farmer, who came and stood before the king. The king asked him, “How did you make the bird fly?” With his head bowed, the farmer said to the king, “It was very easy your highness, I simply cut the branch where the bird was sitting.”

Dear friends, at this time of crisis, let’s have courage to cut off the branch on which we are perching and take off to a higher plane to accept the ordeal of COVID – 19 with a fearless face. Let not the virus over power us but create in us an optimistic, hopeful spirit to rise above and unlock the inner potentials to move ahead confidently. In these troubled times, I wish you peace from the heart of God, peace amidst storm. Stay safe; stay healthy. Let us build again!

Sr Mariette BS   

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