Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, born this day in 1888, became the first Vice President and the second President of India. While World Teachers Day is on October 5th, India has since 1962 celebrated Teachers Day on 5th September to commemorate the scholarship of Dr S Radhakrishnan and to recognise the efforts he made to give prominence to education. September 5th, 2022 is a day of personal gratitude in the wake of an engaging time of life enhanced through learning and growth through knowledge.
The greatest teacher that ever walked on this earth, Jesus Christ was acknowledged by St Mark as one who taught with compassion and to give direction to life.
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Holy Bible (Gospel of St Mark Ch 6 Verse 34)
The Late Odakkal Master, my father, who hailed from Kondotty town in Malappuram District of Kerala, India was a teacher in the mould of early 20th Century Basic High School education system. His work diary had signatures of Dr Rajendra Prasad, Acharya JB Kripalani and such luminaires because of his Sewagram connection. I am indebted to the ever-ready sharing of a global experience and learning including a tenure in the Royal Indian Navy that he brought alive. On August 15th, 2022 had he been alive it would have been his 95th birthday. I still tingle on recollecting his account of Mumbai (then Bombay) on the night of August 14 / 15th 2022. Memories flood back to Teachers Day 1975 when my then Home Room Teacher, Mrs Balfour launched me on the clouds with her sweet appreciation at some academic achievement. The significance was not in the task achieved but the timing of the accolade. In the midst of a family turmoil, that encouragement was an unparalleled expression of Christ like compassion and teaching!
As I mentioned at the start, today is a reflection of gratitude. I have the privilege of being a Maxwell Leadership Team Certified Coach, Teacher & Speaker. It was refreshing to attend the International Maxwell Conference, albeit virtually, from August 29th to 31st. Three days of learning, living and launching into dizzying heights of personal growth unfolded. Dr John C Maxwell, affectionately called "Papa John" outlined a new phase of transformation through the Maxwell Leadership Team. The conference provided time to serve in the virtual booth of the President's Advisory Council of the Maxwell Leadership Team. It was a fun time too and some spill over of the energy of the in-person experience was felt. Joyce McMurran, Jean Crasta, Darryl Sanford II, Thwana Johnson, Monique Schmucker, Teon Singletary, Dennis LaRue, Janice James and others connected with exhibition of classic Maxwell DNA!
Day 2 of the conference was stratospheric. It was refreshing to facilitate eight new members give their three minute table presentations, again virtual and meet a key requirement for their Maxwell Leadership Certification. That was followed by the epitome of thrill as I was the lone virtual speaker among the ten selected Stage Time Finalists to demonstrate the Maxwell Method of Speaking. With the mentorship of Roddy Galbraith it was exhilarating to gain high confidence as a professional inspirational and keynote speaker. Many more stories came up from the other finalists that kept the audience captivated. This should be reason enough for you the reader to pass on the word to reach out for any Keynote Speaking requirement. Maxwell Leadership is an internationally acknowledged standard in this sector. The conference was packed with teaching sessions that are now invested into me for the coming season and beyond.
In symphony with the Maxwell Conference running on EST (US Eastern Time Zone) it was an honour to be in-person at the Naval War College, Goa in India from August 29th to 31st! As an alumnus and now as a Research Faculty in Maritime History and Geopolitics any opportunity to "teach" the Scholar Warriors of Naval Higher Command Course (NHCC) is treasured. I had the honour to launch the Maritime History Capsule to the NHCC-35 (I was part of NHCC-21). Four hours of seafaring history became a vivid voyage with intellectually stimulating interaction with brilliant and emerging senior leadership from Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard and participants of Maritime Security Course with Officers from six friendly foreign navies. Just three days before the Indian Navy unveiled a new ensign that drew inspiration from Indian maritime heritage, we navigated through the saga of Kunjali Marakkars and the Maratha Armaar (Fleet). Since 2002 at the Defence Services Staff College, the saga of the native resistance of Malabar in 16th Century against the Portuguese Navy has been a treasured account. The vision & strategy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 17th Century and brilliance of Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre in early 18th Century are awe inspiring. The earlier era of Cholas, Satavahanas and Sadhabhas are in the same mould. What other content could I ask for as a teacher! I stay indebted to Commandant, Naval War College, Goa and his team for the enriching experience.
A quick transit through Mumbai found me at National Law Institute University (NLIU), Bhopal for 3rd All India Legal History Congress from September 2nd to 4th, 2022. Launched by Gujarat National University (GNLU) Gandhinagar by Dr Richa Sharma, the AILHC is conceptualised by the Indian Association of Legal History of which I have the honour to be a founding member. Prof (Dr) V Vijaykumar and the team led by Prof (Dr) Uday Pratap Singh ensured a rich research led time into the fairly unsung field of Legal History. My students of GNLU Batch 2021-2026, Dev Shroff, Jahnavi Bhuptani and Souniya Dhuldhoya accompanied me to the AILHC. New learning, new inspirations and new friendships were forged over the three days of academic relish. The cherry on the learning fare was a resolution recommending mandatory inclusion of Legal History in the 5 year Integrated Law Undergraduate Course.
The diversified journey of the preceding week was taxing and yet highly enriching. The highest joy for a teacher is to be a keen learner. I saw repeated examples of encouragement, empathy and edification in action. Christ-like compassion is indeed feasible and an essential standard.
Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher. A Japanese Proverb