Often, creative solutions can solve the most complicated problems.
I just love being a part of the world of little children – their toothless smiles, their innocent sharing, their creative storytelling and above all, their unconditional love makes me feel good. I take only six to eight children in each of my batches and teach them life skills in a play-way method.
One of the children, Mihir, whom I was teaching, would walk into the classroom with great panache as though he owned this world. He had everything going for him – confidence, communication skills and creativity. However, the only thing missing was his ability to connect with his peers. Somehow, he would want to bully them – maybe to just feel powerful or to hide his own insecurity about something… His parents were at their wit’s end about this one aspect, which was now overruling everything else. They were getting constant complains from school and even from the housing society they stayed in. Mihir has started hitting his friends, especially children who were smaller than him. The only words he was now hearing from his parents and educators were ‘Mihir don’t do this’, ‘Mihir don’t hit’, or ‘Mihir you will be punished’. These words had now stopped making any impact on him; in fact, the constant recriminations had turned him into a rebel.
One night as I was sitting and thinking about how I could help Mihir, the words of my spiritual mentor, beloved Mahatria, came to my mind – ‘Instead of constantly telling people what not to do, give them enough ideas about what to do’. From that week onwards, I started changing my approach towards Mihir. I stopped using the words ‘don’t use your hands to hit’ with him. Instead I started telling him about the beautiful ways in which he could use his hands. I made him gently caress my cheeks and told him that his hands could be used so beautifully to love others, and then I made him massage my head for a few seconds. I could see him smile, probably, for the first time, he realized that instead of only causing harm, he could use his hands for something good too.
I had a counselling session with his mother and told her about certain activities that she could engage him in – like gardening, painting, craft, massaging, clay moulding, pottery, etc. Gradually, over a period of three months, we all started noticing several positive changes in Mihir. He had indeed almost stopped hitting others and was using his energy in so many constructive ways. This helped him to win back his friends in his school and society and probably changed the very course of his life in the long run. His mother came to see me and told me that this was nothing short of magic.
This experience gave me immense fulfilment and taught me that we need to see life as a game and come up with creative solutions. Often, the most complicated challenges can be resolved beautifully with these solutions.