A Dream Of Excellence


A Dream of Excellence

The Xaverians have built up a value of selfless service to others, and they excel in debates, cultural activities, sports, and they have already acquired a good name for martial arts. They are coming to the close of the academic year to start their annual vacation. Lucy, their school captain who has the lion’s share of taking the school to its golden age, has created a history in the school. Lucy has trained most of the capable and interested students of the school in Karate. She has dreams for her school, and she believes practical physical exercises can help the students with physical, psychological, and emotional health and discipline. This routine can help them get trained in an intellectual, emotional, and social way. 

 Lucy consults the Principal and teachers and then introduces a martial art called AIKIDO. It originated in Japan, and they have designed it for self-defence. Lucy wants all the students and teachers to learn it. People can use it to defend themselves without causing injury to their attackers. They base aikido art on the principle that attackers expose themselves each time they go on the attack. The master expects the fighter to recognize the vulnerability and respond with a spell to ensure that she does not expose herself. They instruct the defender to go with the attacker’s movement and use his momentum against him instead of fighting against it. Suppose an attacker comes at you with a straight punch, and you step to the side, grabbing the wrist and using the momentum with a twist to disable the attacker’s wrist. This technique can put off the attacker’s balance, and his wrist can get broken. 

 For better intellectual growth of the students after doing the homework, Lucy proposes to the teachers’ specific vital points. Help the students from fifth grade onward to value and respect individual opinions, and the students must support their arguments with facts and logical reasoning. Encourage the students to share their views with their peer group and discourage destructive criticisms when sharing their opinions. Help them test their work and teach them to express their discovery before, all without fear. The teachers need to grade pretty and reward students in areas in which they have worked hard. All opinions are equally valid outside the authority’s realm; right-wrong may still prevail inside the authority’s domain. Reward generously for independent thinking. They should base grading on the suitable expression of and logical reasoning for ideas. These encourage students to develop their ideas and to compare these to the opinions of others. These encourage discussion of differences and similarities. Lucy tells the teachers that if they succeed one percentage, it is a marvellous achievement. Once the momentum begins in growth, the percentage will jump to a greater degree because God has created every human being intelligent. The teachers are very proud of Lucy, her creative ideas, and her sincere hard work for the school’s sanctity. They also realize that if they put into practice what Lucy has proposed, it can uplift them and become solid educators. So they have all taken it seriously and have started a well-planned way of putting it into practice. The Physics teacher Leelavathi, observing Lucy’s sharp scientific mind, one day asks her a question, "Lucy, could you share with me what exactly you want to become in your life?" 

 "From my early life onward, I have cultivated a thought to serve other human beings. I got this idea from my daily Bible reading. I see in the Bible, Jesus is always for the rejected, the unwanted, those who lost dignity in life, the sinners, the persecuted, the oppressed, and he finally gives up his own life for giving them hope, a future, and an eternal life with Him. If I can contribute something to the growth of people, especially to those Jesus gave up His life for, my life becomes meaningful. This is my greatest desire teacher." Lucy opened her inner life to her beloved teacher. 

Life goes on with all its trials. One day, Lucy hears the screams of a lady begging for help. She recognizes the crying voice as her neighbour’s and rushes to that house from her home. So many people have gathered there around the well. None of them knows swimming, and so nobody makes any effort to save the drowning child. Lucy is good at swimming, and the child goes up and down in the deep well, half full of transparent water. Seeing Lucy, the mother begs her to save her child. Without further thinking, Lucy jumps into the well, catches hold of the child, and, lifting him above the water, consoles him. Watch how he holds on to his familiar Didi (sister). He feels fully confident in her hands. Then the crowd realizes that Lucy’s left hand has got dislocated, and she is trying to protect the only child of her neighbour with her one hand. The situation gets fearful as Lucy struggles to hold the child and balance herself in the deep water in her excruciating pain. 

Lucy gets exhausted and helpless. She wishes her friend Paaru to be there and cries for help to her God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus. Miracles take place. Paaru, her friend, has come to her home to meet Lucy and her mom has told Paaru what’s Lucy doing. She runs to the accident spot and sees the tragic situation. At the realization of the danger to two lives in the well, wasting no time, she tells the people to get rope fast, jumps into the well, and takes hold of the child from Lucy’s hand. Paaru observes a few holes in the well’s wall, and gets Lucy to hold on to one hole, and stands on another spot in the water. After securing her, Paaru remains close to Lucy, holding the child. By that time, a rescue swimmer comes to the scene and arranges everything very well to get all the three persons outside the deep well safe. But the rescuer takes the child and Lucy to the hospital in his car. As they are going to the hospital, Paaru reminds her friend Lucy what she used to tell how God deals with human beings, "God sometimes throws you into the fire, but he never abandons you in the fire, but goes with you into the fire and comes out of the fire with you." This timely reminder boosts her, and she realizes how God has been with them in this rescuing event. 

 Much later, the school has gathered to say farewell to the final year students. Lucy, representing her companions, conveys their gratitude to the school. Then, she reminds them, God has sent us to this earth to be a blessing to all, to our brothers and sisters around us. She also reminds the school, "It’s our self-sacrificing attitude expressed through our actions that can bring about effective victory, and dignity of life to every person." The Assembly, nodding their heads, agrees with what she has said, as they have experienced it from the life of Lucy. Her reminder has a challenging impact on the students to make their lives better. Lucy concludes her brief farewell speech to the school with a quotation from Shannon L. Alder, "Accomplishments don’t erase shame, hatred, cruelty, silence, ignorance, discrimination, low self-esteem or immorality. It covers it up with a creative version of pride and ego. Only restitution, forgiving yourself and others, compassion, repentance and living with dignity will ever erase the past."      

Next Chapter: The Cost Of Helping Others