Bula readers! This week I wanted to write about “appreciation” and how it can be a very underused word in the busy age of social media, technology and information.
When I think of appreciation, I think of a few years ago, just before the COVID-19 pandemic, when I was asked to be the chief guest at a prefect induction ceremony in the Fiji School for the Blind in Suva.
I was humbled and very grateful to have been asked to be the chief guest of many kinds of functions, from large schools to small preschools to religious functions, etc., for which I am very grateful and grateful.
Looking back on that event, it wasn’t the biggest gathering of people or even the best hotel or the most expensive and extravagant venue I’ve enjoyed being at, in fact, it was in a small non-air-conditioned room with happy and energetic people. students who really won me over.
I remember that day well, because the atmosphere and the love that filled the room was something very special. I don’t know if anyone else has felt this, but for me, I have been placed before the most amazing children God has placed on this earth.
Their laughter, happiness and spirit are a joy to behold and that’s what lit up the room and made this occasion so memorable for me.
The children were there for a very special reason that day, and that was to receive their prefect badges, which would put them in the privileged position of being on the one hand responsible for their duties and on the other hand, become leaders in their school.
As I walked to the lectern to give a little speech that I had jotted down on a piece of paper, I decided to throw the paper away and speak from my heart.
This day was very special for me, I told them, because at their same age and when I was in school, my dream was to become a prefect, but it seemed that whatever I did or tried, I just couldn’t reach that status.
I also told them that this dream was not for me, but today I stand before students who achieved what I never achieved and that was the position of being a distinguished prefect.
I actually told them that I appreciate them, a lot for taking me back in time to remember my school days and also for reminding me how simple life was back then.
All I needed was a loving heart from my parents and simple goals in life, some I achieved and some I didn’t and becoming a prefect was one of those goals that was beyond me.
The prefects I had the honor of badgering were simple, loving students that day, but what they did for me was more than they could ever have imagined.
They made me appreciate them and their accomplishments that day. They also made me appreciate life as a whole and how many people have come to help me on my own journey.
Also, we cannot forget the hardworking and companion staff which is made up of administrators, teachers, administrative staff and support staff, without these wonderful souls there would be no school of this magnitude .
As the main guests, we come and go, but it is these special individuals who are the backbone of society, where respect and appreciation must be given to them.
The majority of us go through life not appreciating the people who have taken us on this journey, from the midwife when we were born, the teachers who have endeared us throughout our formative years, our friends, families and loved ones.
I remember all the names of my teachers since I started school at age five throughout my school life. I remember my friends from such a young age who made me the person I am today.
I remember all my families encouraging me and telling me that I can succeed if I believe it is possible. Above all, I remember and appreciate my parents, who worked hard to provide us with a stable and loving environment in which to grow.
As a parent myself, I try to give my children the same environment and teach them to appreciate every day throughout their lives.
If there is a gift, I would like to pass it on to them, it would be to have friends and neutrals.
If you are friends with someone, continue the friendship, if there is someone you don’t feel so friendly with, have them as neutral, but never have hatred for anyone. As the famous saying goes, “Having hate and anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Finally my friends always remember life is short so have love in your heart not hate and also remember to appreciate people even for the little things they do in life . Goodbye and take care until next week.
• AJAY BHAI AMRIT is a founding member of the People’s Alliance Party and is also a freelance writer. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this journal.