The past few weeks have been surreal to say the least. Dubai’s school closures a couple of weeks ago left many of us moaning about the ‘overreaction’ by authorities to COVID-19. But watching the news unfold, moment by moment, even the cynics among us became fretful about the novel coronavirus.
As I work in learning support, my thoughts are obviously with the students. Children across the globe find themselves unexpectedly housebound. There is uncertainty over when schools will reopen. Schools, parents and caregivers are scrambling to implement e-learning strategies and make any possible arrangement for their kids to continue learning. The unique challenges that confront us are compounded for children with learning challenges, social-emotional difficulties, mental health concerns and special needs. There are more questions than answers for now.
While listing the many negatives of the predicament we find ourselves in, it is easy to miss the silver lining, ever so slight as it may appear.
Continue reading “Embracing the Unknown”
“Life is difficult.” Thus begins the popular book ‘The Road Less Travelled’ by M. Scott Peck (1936-2005), an American psychiatrist. First published in 1978, the book’s simple language lends to easy understanding. Peck draws considerably from his daily clinical practice as evidenced by the innumerable examples sprinkled across the book. In a four part series I briefly explain the tools Peck writes about to achieve mental and spiritual growth; at the outset he mentions he does not distinguish the two. The four tools are discipline, love, growth-religion and grace.
In this final section, Scott Peck details the role of grace in a human’s life. Just as in earlier parts of the book, case studies, anecdotes and even Greek myths are employed to illustrate the importance of grace and its relation to mental health. This article attempts to present a condensed version of the last, yet profound, segment of the book. While I try my best to avoid a piecemeal approach, the subheadings are an endeavor to unite various ideas.
Continue reading “The Road Less Travelled: Grace (Part 4 of 4)”
(Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels)
“I want to be a good person.”
“I want to help the poor and needy.”
“I want to make a difference in the world.”
What is common to these phrases is “I’’ and “want” and the only needy person could be oneself.
Very often our deep yearning to help others or be a “good” human being stems from our ego’s desire to be recognised and rewarded. Like a hungry baby, the human ego demands attention. One way it does so is by making us want to be useful. This utilitarian nature leads to praise from others or a sense of self-enhancement and prompts us to do further good deeds. The cycle continues.
Continue reading “TO BE OR NOT TO BE…GOOD?”