February 6, 2023

The quote, “I learned to give not because I have many but because I know exactly how it feels to have nothing,” reminds me of empathy and sympathy.
Empathy is defined as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling while sympathy means understanding someone else’s suffering.
Empathy and sympathy are essential ingredients for a happy and harmonious relationship. Without them, a home, workplace, or organization will just turn an outlandish place. Families and employees are not comfortable dealing with each other. They tend to distance from each other. This will not lead them to a consensus in decisions. Thus, success and harmony are improbable to happen.
During my younger age, I observed the insensitivity of other people. They often criticized and laughed about our old and cheap clothes. The simple foods we brought for our lunch in school was also a big deal to our classmates. Worse, I was even disregarded by my grade 1 teacher as an honor student. She belittled me because of our poverty. That was a painful experience because being poor is not my fault.
I did not let the callousness of people ruin my future. Of course, it affected me but I took it positively. I regarded it as a challenge to motivate me to aim high and hit the mark. Poverty should not hinder me to become successful even in my own little ways. It should be a reason for me to strive harder.
Life is really like the wheel. Sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down. I did not become rich but at least, my life became better. More importantly, I promised to manifest empathy and sympathy at all times. Many people need and long for them. They may change their life significantly and permanently.
As a teacher for 10 years now, I keep on inspiring my students, particularly the poor ones. They should be optimistic and reach their dreams and aspirations. I showed sympathy and empathy to them, especially the unlucky ones.
Experience is the best teacher. I never let my students felt helpless and unimportant. I don’t want them to undergo my bad experiences when I was still a student. They all deserve to be treated fairly and affectionately. I am not selfish in giving high grades and applied all possible remedies to make the students pass. Grades don’t actually measure intelligence.
The main role of a teacher is to touch the lives of the young ones. He must develop their potentials and personalities. His genuine passion and love for teaching is the best sword or weapon to become effective and efficient teacher. Above all, he must have a heart full of understanding, sensitivity, and love for the students. He should not be selfish by insisting his own principle that will not benefit the learners.
Students do not need a teacher who is perfect and full of knowledge. They need someone who can lift them up and help them fulfill their ambitions.
Even when I became a head teacher, I make students receive proper treatment and care. They deserve a child-friendly school because they are the very reason we are employed.
Teachers can make or break a child. Of course, teachers must always choose to make a child. It is their lifetime conscience if they will break a child. The child will not appreciate them. Hence, they did not make a significant difference in the child’s life.
Most of us undergo difficult situations or stages. Thus, it is always nice to bestow empathy and sympathy to our fellows. This can uplift their spirits and give them hope that all pains and sufferings will subside. (JENELYN J. AGAYO)