Learning from the Field : Friendships, Team work and Courage

"I wasn’t good at one subject. I felt I would fail. I felt scared. I managed to express this to my friends. They helped me get past my fear, study better and I scored decent marks. Always tell your friends what you feel. Once it is out there, solutions can be found to what you face"
Pratik, a 9th class student, shared this experience, when I was at a Play Session. I asked him to share a lesson he has learned from a problem. And what a learning indeed! Till date, I struggle to share a crisis. I can’t ask for help when I know I am terribly in need of it. I like to solve things for others but to share what I face, takes courage, which I yet don’t have. 
Pratik effortlessly gave me my first lesson of the year. I felt like its high time I gather some courage and speak up.

‘In a group, it is important to listen to all members. A group can have a fruitful outcome only if all members have a say, and the group’s goal is above all personal goals’

This was a response from a class 8th kid, about a learning from an activity called ‘human knot’. Such simple learning but something core to the functioning of almost all kinds of organizations everywhere.
I remember as a kid, we would play games in a group. We would gather for a common goal of play. We would have our fights and there would be differences over what game to play and where to play, but nothing ever affected the core goal of play.

Now, as I reflect, in the different groups that I am part of, personal fights that come in the way of group meet ups and goals are unnecessary. I feel like taking them back to their childhood days to show them, how simple it is to live and function as a group. I wonder how we unlearn all this as we grow.

I engraved both these experiences,  two big lessons, in my diary along with a few more things that I learnt.

One of the first things I wish to learn is active listening. This goes beyond listening to words, it is about listening to the unsaid words, the actions, body language, the vibe. I wish to imbibe this skill to know more about a person.
I wrote this because I saw how well the kids capture a vibe. How good kids are at learning from the unsaid words. Twice I observed, how one picks up another’s bad mood and quickly informs the teacher to help fix it. What a skill to have!
Many of the kids I interacted with perhaps didn’t have a happy backstory. Their life of a few years on earth perhaps had more struggles than what I have faced till today. But the beauty of childhood is, no backstory affects play!

When these kids played, they didn’t carry any burden of any kind. They live in the moment. In spite of harsh times, they have the power to let go of most of it, live their age for the little while they are with Toybank Field Officers.
I didn’t have many board games while growing up. But I learned maximum from the few I had. I remember all the outdoor games that we played. More than everything, I learned how simple the idea of life is for a kid. And how important it is to imbibe all needed skills at the right age. This is exactly what I wish to work for the rest of my life.
I don’t exactly know how, but this is it, this is what I wish to do. Thank you 2019, within the first few days you have shown me, made me see in reality, what is it that I wish to work for, what is the ‘cause’ I want to live for!
(This post has been republished with due permission of the author - Nisha Navgire)


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