By Prashant Sharma
I am sorry…. Dad!
Youngsters! The blessings of God to the universe. It is that phase of life which gives new dimensions to everyone with full energy. Sometimes, it is seen that if this energy is applied in the wrong direction then it creates more complication in the life of youngster as well as in their family.
Every time, while counseling the students of SSISM, I used to ask them about how many times they have hurt the sentiments of their near and dear ones and the response that we got was shocking. The proportion of students who have taken their parents as granted was very high. Though they realized later that the things should not have happened as they have occurred still the sense of apologizing or saying sorry was very almost absent. Over a specific period of time, the tendency of not apologizing before parents has grown up substantially among the youngsters.
I saw that the present generation always wanted everything very fast without thinking and understanding about its side effects.
So, we conducted a special session for a group of students focusing on the remembrance of any one incident that occurred in their life when they had an outburst on their parents or any close family member for a petty issue and considerably hurt their sentiments.
Almost all of them confirmed that they had gone through such incident. One precaution was taken that a complete secrecy was maintained as these incidents were of personal nature and many of the students could be more hesitant to share the same.
We also observed that though a considerable time had been passed in between the incident still all the students had a strong memory of the same.
When we asked the students how many of them had apologized, the response was surprising – almost no one. Even after observing that the behavior of the concerned family member had changed they couldn’t collect the courage to be sorry for them.
I said to the class “ Ok !! Now I wish to give you a chance of apologizing in a unique way. You all will write a letter to the concerned family member who you have hurt knowingly or unknowingly and we will post the sealed letter on your behalf. The class agreed and started writing a letter. We guided them that they should write the specific incident first, then they should point out their particular unwarranted behavior. Later on, they should apologize and give assurance that such incident would not happen again. At the end, they should also mention the importance of the particular family member in their own life and what they expect from him/her.
It took almost 20 to 25 minutes and students wrote rapidly. We sealed the notes and put up the name of the concerned family member. I then added my personal letter with the sealed letter and clarified to the parents about our intention of sending the letter to the parents.
I asked the staff to post the letter through the post office and was eager to get the feedback of the parents. I also asked the students to share me the observation they made in the home after receipt of the letter. My anxiety was growing slowly about the outcome of this initiative which was a part of our teaching strategy to motivate the students to understand the importance of family bonding.
The feedback after four days that I received was very encouraging. One parent told me that tears came to their eyes as they never ever believed that their son would be able to understand the importance of relations. Prior to this letter, the behavior of their son was very rude with all and they never ever expected such letter would reach to them.
One girl contacted me with joy and shared with me that due to this initiative she was able to communicate with her parents properly as she belonged to a joint family and did not get space to talk freely with parents. She also wrote a small poem of appreciation for us and gave it to us.
Some more students told me that the family atmosphere had become cozy and comfortable after this letter had reached their homes.
We witnessed a positive behavioral change among the students also.
In all, it was a great soul satisfying initiative!