Reflecting on the footsteps that shaped my life and guided my journey, some of them, unfortunately were bitter. Though I’ve read that time helps people forget, yet some memories for me are unforgettable. I was nine years old and a member of the school Ballet team. The instructor succeed to condition my mind. For me the pattern was clear, a ballet training meant being mocked in front of the other dancers, labelled, ridiculed and down looked. The famous sentence I still recall till now was:” Refaat, either you quit the team or I go to the madhouse.” Back then I was too weak to stand for myself, my communication skills were very poor that I never told my parents or objected what happened, I didn’t have the guts to complain to any of my teachers. I spent the year accepting to be bullied by this trainer every single class.
Remembering him I thought of this quote for Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” For me, I still recall what he said and for sure how he made me feel. And how would I forget the first person who made constantly feel stupid, incapable, incompetent, ashamed, embarrassed and little?
It took me many years to change the way I looked at myself and to understand that the problem was his not mine. Though this footstep was a harsh one, it had taught me a lot. As an educator, I try my best to respect my students, to help them discover the best in them, to unleash their potentials, to cherish their differences and to let them understand that each one is special and unique in his own way and that the beauty of humanity lies in our uniqueness; which includes both our limitations and strengths.
This coach made me comprehend by experience the feelings I never wish my pupils taste and I do believe he had helped me become more caring and compassionate human being.
Read the intro to this series at: