Dare to be Ruthless and Compassionate..!

In my book DARE there is chapter on being both ruthless and compassionate, and I give the example of my teacher: Her name was Miss Bailey, she was English and she taught me in junior school. She cycled to school, on a beautiful bike crafted in England, and on entering the school gate would hand over her graceful machine to anyone of us eager boys or girls who would rush forward to park it for her.
It was a privilege when Miss Bailey handed her bicycle to you.
One day Shankar stood at the gate: Shankar was a hunchback. We laughed, “Move out of the way Shankar, Miss Bailey is going to enter!” Miss Bailey drove in and we all rushed offering our little hands to her. But Miss Bailey looked past us all.
“Where was the kind Miss Bailey?” we wondered, but she was looking past us at Shankar, and we shuddered, was she going to make Shankar try to wheel the cycle, so he could fall, and be the butt of our jokes we wondered. “Will you park it for me?” she called out to Shankar.
“I don’t think so Miss Bailey!” stammered Shankar, “I might drop your cycle!”
“If you drop it you pick it up!” said the teacher with a ruthless look. Saying this she thrust her cycle into Shankar’s trembling hands and without looking to see how he’d manage marched to class.
We watched Shankar, as he held her lovely machine. We held our breaths as we thought it was going to fall. I rushed to help. “Leave it!” hissed Shankar and we all fell back, then watched as he straightened himself out. It seemed his hump disappeared as he drew himself up to his full height and then gingerly at first then with growing confidence pushed Miss Bailey’s cycle to the cycle stand.
The school bell rang and we rushed to class. Shankar was the last to enter, but we gasped; it was a different boy who walked in.
Miss Bailey didn’t even look at him, as he walked to her and handed her the keys. She took it from his hand and carried on with the roll call.
From that day Shankar changed completely. It seemed his hunch disappeared, at least that’s what we felt had happened. He answered all the questions, his grades rocketed and the most beautiful smile started appearing on his face.
It was obvious Miss Bailey had seen beyond his defective disability and had drawn the real Shankar out. Maybe that night when he looked into the mirror, he saw the boy Miss Bailey had seen. He stood a bit taller and felt a little more special.
From that day Shankar topped the class!
What Miss Bailey did, as she handed over the key to a hunchback was being ruthless, and yet it was an act of compassion. Dare we be both ruthless and compassionate?

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7 thoughts on “Dare to be Ruthless and Compassionate..!”

  1. Reminds me of my choirmaster Mr. Hayward from St Mary’s Church. Well written Bobby. Wish our leaders learn these leadership qualities

  2. A most beautiful gesture from a teacher, who looks beyond a normal sight of a human being to bring about a change.

    Thank you sir

  3. At times you need to punish and discipline a child in the interest of the child .
    It is a medical cliche. One must at times be cruel to be kind !
    A rigorous diet for an obese person devoid of his favourite food sounds cruel , but the end result is good for the person .
    The side effects of potent drugs like chemotherapy are cruel , but the doctor is being kind as it heals the patient who, untreated would have died from a silent killer like cancer with no early symptoms !

  4. I don’t think Ms Bailey was ruthless. She was caring, kind and compassionate. She probably appeared strict but had a heart of gold. And thank God for teachers like her. I have had my share too of the most wonderful teachers. Nostalgia! Thanks Bob.

  5. A very well written anecdote of a Powerful,Really Confident,Humble n loving Personality.A Person having great selfworth,self value
    and genuine Loving and caring attitude towards students.

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