“I want to have good manners”, “ I want to become a teacher”, “I want to be a good human being” or “ I want to make my parents proud of myself”-these are some of the answers I got when I asked the students, as part of the positive psychology program, about the changes they would like to see in themselves in the future. Even though these answers may be tagged as mere fantasies of students aged 10 or 11, the same answers propel us to ruminate over our responsibility towards these children and their expectations from us.
The Positive psychology class is when I get to know the children better, to identify their aspirations, to recognize their difficulties and to discern their feelings and thoughts. It’s an opportunity for me to connect with the students and unleash their feelings in order to help them achieve higher. Many of us might view our involvement at ELI Corps merely as a voluntary one but it entails more than a voluntary action. Prior to my visit to the Roche Bois ELI Center, I used to hear a lot about the region and the people there but whatever is said may not necessarily be true. The children may be tagged as underprivileged ones but that does not mean that they should be deprived of the opportunity to lead a successful life. Like other children of their age, they also aspire to achieve something in life, be it a small achievement or a great one. But, they have all the rights to aspire to be successful and we can fulfill their aspiration.
The children might not have had the same education facilities as I had or as many of us had but we have the opportunity to use our education to make a difference in their lives and empower them to achieve their dream. We may all have different purposes in life: to find a job that is meaningful to us, to find someone to love and nurture a family and, to accumulate wealth that would allow us to lead a comfortable and secure life. These are indeed wonderful goals. However, our purpose as educated beings is also to improve and repair the world and, one way to achieve this purpose is to empower and guide our children.