by E. M.
One of LEAPAsia’s Seed Fund scholarship students said that some of her teachers taught them to be smart and not give money to beggars to avoid being cheated. She remembered these words, and refused to help an old beggar one time. However, she found later that her heart was saddened, and she started to question, “Have I done right? What kind of lesson should teachers teach their students? To love or to be smart?”
After hearing this, I also started to think about teaching. Being a teacher was my childhood dream. At that time, I thought teachers were so powerful that everybody would fear and listen to them. Later, after encountering the Master Teacher, I learned that teaching is not about making students afraid of you but showing your love to them and also teaching them how to love others as the Master Teacher does. He said “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Who is our neighbor? The one who has many possessions, advantages, and a high position? Or those who are poor and have disabilities, even evil people? Absolutely, the answer is both.
People of all kinds need love. Only if they feel love can they give their love to others. The girl I mentioned before actually has a disability just like I do. We need love too and not only from our family and friends but also from society. People with disabilities are always considered weak and broken. Therefore, most people show their sympathy and help them do lots of things. Teachers also teach students to respect and help people with disabilities. As one of them, I cherish people’s kindness to us, but that is not what we truly need.
I was born with a disability, but I couldn’t completely understand what that meant at first. I could do everything that normal people do such as walking and running, riding a bicycle, and doing housework (of course, with the help of one crutch). Everything seemed usual at first, and I was not aware of any differences between me and others. However, things changed when I entered school. I still remember running cheerfully to the playground for PE and hearing my teacher say, “You don’t need to have this class. Be careful of your leg.” On that day, I finally realized that I was different.
Because of this difference, I was not allowed to join in activities like morning exercises and sports meetings. Even when I went to college, I was exempted from PE class. People around me wanted to protect me from being hurt. But all I needed was to be treated like a normal person. At that time, I was so lonely, living in the shadow of disability, not because I couldn’t do something but because people didn’t believe I could. I wasn’t released from this darkness until I found the Light and realized that I am as loved and as precious as anybody else in this world. Now, I enjoy such love from Him and from other brothers and sisters.
This Seed Fund student is in the same situation as me. I am not her teacher, but I think at least I can touch her with Love. She’s already found an answer and made a choice, which is to continue helping and loving others. Now, she often goes to the nursing home nearby to help elderly people do some chores and also communicate with them. She said that communication with these elders is more important than just giving money. I think she already understands what love really is.