Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Lesson from the Death of an Ant

Recently, I made acquaintance with a long time student of mine that I taught way back in 2006. He had since become a private tutor like me. Back then he was a chubby kid who is bright and always very inquisitive. I met him up this year for lunch and we kept in contact ever since. He’ll sometimes text me to ask for my feedback and advice on stuff related to students and work in general. All in all, a nice feeling to this because I see that I did help him in some meaningful ways or another.




Just yesterday, he texted me and told me an incident with a student that left him very distraught. The student killed an ant and he told me that he was so upset with the whole incident that he didn’t talk for 5 mins. I guess it’s his way of mourning over the passing of a life so carelessly and needlessly taken away.


And then he told me it was me who taught him to value the life of an ant back way when I taught him as a student.


Frankly, I couldn’t remember that incident. I have a habit of asking students not to kill ants when I see them crawling over their textbooks or notebooks. For my student, he reminded me that he was going to kill it with liquid paper but I told him not to do it. I vaguely recalled that he was toying with the life of a sentient being and I was disgusted with that attitude, so I had this huge  argument with him over it.  However, he told me recently that it took him nearly 10 years to learn the lesson.


I’m both proud and humbled by this incident. As teachers or tutors, we have to be careful of what we say and how we treat others. Eventually the integration and trigonometry that we teach the students will be long forgotten, but the values and the life lessons will remain. Well, at least some of it,  and to some people. Ultimately, we need to show more love at the end of the day.


I’ll continue doing what I do – changing the world one student at a time.

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This post is first published from my tuition website Kungfu Cats Academy link located here.

4 comments :

Frugal Daddy said...

Hope there are more ppl remembering my good than bad.

Sadly, I will not tolerate any pest in my house. Killing is laskt resort. Prevention is the cure.

Sillyinvestor said...

Hi LP,

I guess it is a phase. When younger, we have no qualms killing insects. Then we become more aware it is a "life" we are talking about. I throw bug out of the window rather than give it a smash. Not sure if it will survive the "fall"

My son then said "ya, dun anyhow make killing"

As for influence, we just hope we ourselves is more a force of good energy than bad. With more people with nett positive energy, then a positive cycle ensue...

la papillion said...

Hi FD,

I'm sure some people will rmb your positive side than the negative side. I just hope more and more people will see that ;) That's a surer sign of wealth and success than money.

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

My wife went from beheading ants and torturing them, to saving snails and ants. I think you're right. It's a phase that we go through. Children can be extremely cruel because they didn't know. I reminded gently that to a group of playful kids throwing lighted matches to an ant hill once. I think we need to explain to them the rationale and not just scold them off. The worst thing we can do after scolding is that they take revenge on the ants after we left.

Some parents will encourage their child to torture animals...have you seen them before? My heart breaks.

I think to have positive energy, we need to be positive ourselves first. Can't save others if we're about dead. The funny thing is, the more we save others, the more we save ourselves too. I know that fully when I was battling depression in the past. I always say my work saved me.