Humility is one of the Teach For India Core Values.

Trinad api suneechena taror iva sahishnuna

amaaneena maanadena keertaneeya sadaa harih

“One should think oneself to be more humble than the blade of grass, more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the Holy Name of the Lord constantly.”

Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in Sikshashtakam

In this verse, trina = grass, neech = low, suneech = really low 🙂 taru = tree, sahish = tolerating, amaaneena = not expecting respect/prestige keertana = chanting/singing sadaa= always (I love finding the root of words and also seeing similarities in word meanings between the languages I know!)

I have always loved this verse and have started appreciating it even more after coming to Teach For India. I have learnt to be more humble, more accepting of differences and diversity, learnt to offer respect to people, their views, opinions and ideas more than before. Though I have had these values in varying levels (mostly acquired from my Mother and from other life experiences), I am discovering a new level of humility, integrity, Empathy, sense of possibility, resourcefulness, teamwork, critical thinking and reflection at Teach For India. Starting from Shaheen, the people at TFI, the children in Summer School and now, the children in my class, all teach me the core values every day.


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