Honesty is Indeed the Best Policy


Over the summer, I read the book "Is your child ready to face the world?" by Dr. Anupam Sibal and have learnt so many things apart from gaining a lot of inspiration. I found it very interesting, especially the discussion on how values can be inculcated in children. We all want our children to be good human beings. Being an honest individual lies at the heart of this. I believe that if we expect honesty from our students, we ourselves must first practise the same in its entirety.

This brings me to the story of a girl, Rani. Everyone knew that Rani was the best speller in the whole class. She could spell difficult words like encyclopedia very easily. She used to get perfect scores in the weekly spelling tests. Mr. Sharma, her English teacher, had made a rule for the spelling tests: any child who does not get at least 60% of the spellings correct would have to copy each word fifty times before the next week’s spelling test. Seema, who sat next to Stuti, always struggled in spelling tests. Last Thursday, she scored 56% which meant copying each word fifty times. Rani was so confident in her spelling ability that she decided not to study for the next test.

The test began and Mr. Sharma pronounced each word and then repeated it. Everything was alright, until he said "Handkerchief". Rani wrote "H-andke-r-ch…" and then got stuck. She couldn't recall if the next letter was an 'i' or an 'e'. Her mind went blank and Mr. Sharma moved on to the next word.
In the meantime, Seema had no difficulty in writing the spelling, having written it multiple times as part of the previous week's punishment. Rani, who was seated next to her, cast a glance sideways and tried to copy the spelling from Seema's notebook.

However, she noticed that Mr. Sharma had seen her cheat. She became tensed and worried, not knowing what to do. She had cheated for the first time in her life and did not feel good about it. So she took her eraser and erased the correct spelling, replacing it with the incorrect one that she had earlier thought of. She knew she would not be able to top the test, but felt satisfied at sticking to her values. Mr. Sharma called her after the class and appreciated her honesty.

It is important to reinforce the good values possessed by students. It strengthens their ability and motivation to uphold positive values at all times under all circumstances.

~ Kusum Dangi is an Educator at The Fabindia School. Her email address is kdi4fab@gmail.com

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