Would you spend an hour reading a chapter that is out of syllabus? Would you do an assignment your teacher would not mark? The answer is obvious, there is hardly enough time to study what is actually important. What makes something important? The high probability of something coming in exam is considered important. Do you study only for exam? When will you study for your life?
These are some questions I didn’t ask myself when I was in school, but today as I reflect and realize I begin all over again. I make my students question themselves often between their chapters. I make them question every page in their book. While every school has an elaborately decorated vision that encompasses every aspect of life, they lack the freedom in bringing their vision alive. The written syllabus creates a narrow tunnel through the school, from exam to exam.
Exam has become the license to so many offers in life and therefore everything in school should revolve around exam, and there is no way other than the narrow tunnel. One day we reach at the end of the tunnel with good marks in hand and a job ahead of us, but then we realize that everything around us is out of syllabus. Nobody would want to wake up unhappy for the rest of our lives, despite having a passed so many exams and having gotten into a good job.
We must realize early in our lives that life is not bound by syllabus; we must dare to go out of syllabus to pursue real life. We must go beyond mere collection of information to processing information and invention of ideas, so that we don’t feel stagnant. We must discover our natural talents and polish them because we all come with our own unique gifts. So many strangers gather in one place called school wearing same clothes and there is no better place to build relationships, respect differences, work in teams, and learn leadership, for these are the elements of life that could guarantee us happiness. We should love to learn every new skill that comes our way and try to master some, for we never know what life has in store for us.
Millions die every year yet we don’t even know but when Steve Jobs died world stopped for a moment. What makes him so special? He discovered his natural talents, spiced it up with his ability to lead, supported it by his courage to rise from failure and went on to make an almost perfect technology. iPhone was not in his syllabus, he created it. He literally went out of syllabus by dropping out of school. Walt Disney was another drop out who now lives forever like his characters. If Albert Einstein studies within the syllabus without dropping out at fifteen would we remember him now? Bill Gates is a living example of someone who went so much out of syllabus to create Microsoft and become a billionaire. Who remembers his classmates who were lucky then to be able to complete their college?
When the time is right, don’t sleep in the syllabus. Wake up to life’s calling. For if you land up in a good job you must know how to work happily and if you remain jobless you should know how to create job- these are not in your syllabus.
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