Humility and Appreciation - Shalini Solanki

In a world of 7.8 billion people, no matter how social we are, the human race is looking for that one thing, a talent, and a purpose, anything which is their own, which gives them meaning and helps them make sense of the world. They want something to be known by and something they are known for. The speciality is what people need to be content and happy for that individual. However, this search for individuality often leads to the path of isolation, arrogance and selfishness. If not taken with humility, this search for personal gain removes the focus from our ultimate purpose of serving others.

Taking it up from the very beginning is essential, especially in schools. Accepting failure and success with humility for themselves and others is the skill required to raise a generation of individuals ready to face the world with courage and kindness. Accepting and giving appreciation with genuineness is directly linked with humility. To explore this connection and to help learners experience this feeling.

I created an activity about festivals. While discussing various festivals, we tried to explore the
music, clothes, food and activities related to each festival using audio and visual aids.

Learner’s role:
Learners saw the grandness of the harvest festivals, the magnificence of the national festivals and
the richness of the religious festivals all over India. They identified the beautiful differences and
unexpected similarities between various festivals.

I observed learners expressing themselves as a part of the community while describing their
favourite festivals. They were open, appreciative and eager to know about each other’s
experiences. This led me to extend this feeling of community based on humility and
appreciation into another activity.

We decided to feel the spirit of festivals more closely and have our own class festival. Learners brainstormed and decided they would have a festival to celebrate the beauty of nature.

We dedicated one day to celebrating this class festival. Learners decided what they wanted to do to
celebrate their festival. They also learned subtly and humbly the things they cannot yet do. For
example, suggestions like going on a trip, buying and using plastic decorative items were put down
very gently and humbly by other students based on the understanding of what they are capable of
doing and what is harmful to nature.

On the day of the festival, learners cleaned their classes; they decorated the board and the class
with origami crafts and drawings. I assisted them in making groups and assigning tasks. We started
our day with a choir performance dedicated to nature by all the learners. We went on a nature walk
and enjoyed the beauty around us.

As a part of our festival ritual, we sat together on the grass in a circle; everyone shared one thing
they appreciated about nature. It was beautiful to see everyone enjoying and appreciating the
beauty of nature. We wrote one promise on a slip of paper to save the beauty of nature around us. I
instructed them to write a simple commitment that they could do themselves. Later, we collected all the
slips and distributed them again. This time, everyone had a promise written by someone else. They read
it aloud and agreed to keep it and implement it to the best of their ability.

We ended the day by having a community feast. Everyone was asked to bring some healthy snacks.
In the class, we enjoyed the food together with light music while sharing our experience of
celebrating our own festival. I was so happy to see the ownership reflected by the students for this
activity. They were concerned about the cleanliness and implementation of all the activities 
they decided to include in their festival.

My role: Facilitator

Impact on students:
The spirit of humility and appreciation was not just observed in the experience but was also seen
growing by the end of it. Recognition of self concerning the community and appreciation of
different viewpoints was evident throughout the day.

Shalini Solanki
Gyanshree School, Noida
JOL Cohort 2022

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