Message from Bro H S Tan, Founder of Nalanda
I was 15 when during a chat, my English teacher said to me, “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.”
She was of course, referring to learning grammar! I thought about it and came to the conclusion that this positive attitude not only applies to learning English, it also applies to all other fields – working, exercising, and serving others. Truly, if anything is worthy of our precious time, it ought to be done well.
Over the years, this simple maxim has served me greatly. Recognising that time and life is precious, I carefully consider how I should best spend my time, and with whom I should spend it. If my days were filled with meaningful activities and inspiring encounters, then I reckon my life would be most joyful and fulfilling.
I put in a lot of effort in school, at work and in public service, because I find those worth doing. And since they are worth doing, they’re worth doing well!
Thus, this dictum which I learned from my teacher long ago has changed my attitude for good. I’ve been able to produce better work and serve worthy causes with passion. I think my English teacher can scarcely imagine how her casual remark that day could have such great impact on the works produced by her students beyond their school years.
“A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Adams
On this occasion, I would like to wish all teachers throughout the world, “Happy Teachers’ Day”! You have nurtured many a child or teenager in their early stages of life, and given them much inspiration to dream. You have taught them the skills to make their own dreams come true. You have imparted noble values to them to ensure they become successful, yet grateful and useful citizens of the world. These, dear teachers, are your legacies.
I would like to thank all Dhamma speakers and teachers of Nalanda Institute, Nalanda Dharma School and Nalanda Free School for your dedication and marvelous services to the community! Your endeavour today will no doubt transform the lives of many people in decades to come.
And if we educators find teaching meaningful and worth doing, then it is worth our efforts doing it well! Rest not on our laurels but strive diligently to improve and improvise our teaching methods, so that our charges are given a well-rounded education, with no lack in encouragement and love.
“Nine-tenths of education is encouragement.” – Anatole France