4. Happy Teachers’ Day – Friday, 6 September 2019 – Teachers Can Change Lives

by Patrick Liew on September 6, 2019

4. Happy Teachers’ Day – Friday, 6 September 2019 – Teachers Can Change Lives

Have you been strongly condemned before?

More importantly, have you allowed negative words to take roots in your heart and let them affect your self esteem and become an emotional burden in your life?

Many people carry these condemnations – whether from external sources or from within themselves – as baggages throughout their lives.

These condemnations weigh them down and prevent them from soaring in life.

I had such an experience and it could have stifled me. Instead, it strengthened me and made me a more resilient person.

It happened in 1973.

One of my teachers, in a fit of anger, told a group of us in front of the class, “If you ever pass your exams, I will give up teaching!”

To be fair to her, I have got myself to blame. I must have upset her to make her lose her cool.

I and I alone have to bear full responsibility for my errant ways.

This incident occured during a Chemistry lesson.

I was not keen to find out information such as if you mixed sodium hydroxide, NaOH, with Copper Nitrate, Cu(No₃)₂, you will get Sodium Nitrate, NaNO₃, a colourless liquid and Copper Hydroxide, Cu(OH)₂, a blue precipitate.

I could not see how this can help me in the real world – neither did the teacher tried to explain it to me.

In my ignorant mind, they were meaningless facts that have no relevance in my life.

Instead of paying attention in class, I was having a distilled-water (H₂O) battle with my friends.

We were trying to cleanse each other with pure water.

We were mixing unfamiliar liquid and powder with different materials to see if we can invent a life-changing chemical.

We love to see the colour change and strange-looking smoke coming out from the test tubes.

If my teacher did not stop me, who knows, I might have discovered the genome code or a cure for cancer.

On the other hand, I might have invented a permanent paint for graffiti purpose or help “Ah Longs” (illegal loan-sharks) decorate doors and walkways for their customers.

Jokes aside, I realised I was wrong.

I should have been more disciplined and paid more attention in class.

Many of the lessons might not have short term benefits but they have long term values to improve lives and the world.

It is unfortunate that a small number of teachers have stopped many students on their learning tracks and pathways to growth.

They have unwittingly limited the possibilities in these young minds instead of unleashing the genius within each of them.

I digressed.

When my teacher pronounced the judgement – or condemnation – on me, I should have been severely hurt.

I could have been scarred and might have disappeared into my shell.

Fortunately, as youths, we were having too much fun for the toxic words to sink into our hearts.

We did not take the words too seriously to allow them to affect us, neither did we take the words so lightly that we did not learn from them.

In fact, my teacher’s words became a turning point in my life.

For that, I will always be grateful to her.

If you read on, you will find out why I will always be thankful to her.

Through this and many other experiences, I thought about how to overcome problems in life.

Thankfully, my teachers have equipped me to find answers to questions and solutions for challenges.

They taught me how to learn – and learn how to learn – and that has made a difference in my life.

That skill can help me find answers and develop solutions in life.

I do not have to allow negative words to lower my self-esteem and my worth as a child of our Creator.

It just does not make sense.
Think about it.

Every person is a special edition of one.

There is no additional you – no pirate copy, nor will there ever be a perfect clone of you.

There is not a single person in the whole wide world like you.

Nobody shares the same space, time, energy and resources.

No one can think, speak and act like you.

The greatest scientists in the world cannot develop anything that is remotely similar to you.

The best computers cannot perform like your brain and your bodily systems.

All the latest advancements in medical and life sciences cannot replicate the workings in your body, mind and spirit.

Nobody will ever be able to explain to you about you and what made you the person that you are.

No one throughout the passage of time have suffered the same pain or enjoyed the same pleasure as you.

You and you alone has gone through and collected a treasure tribe of unique and precious experiences in life.

You are a walking miracle.

You are one of the greatest blessings that has happened and will ever happen in your life.

Nothing should ever make you think otherwise and cause you to love less of yourself.

Nobody can stop you from living a life of love and loving the best of life.

You are created with a unique personality, capacity and set of abilities.

You are given a tremendous amount of opportunities to tap on your latent energy to make a positive difference to others.

As you travel on the journey of life, what you have gone through has helped you to learn many invaluable lessons.

I believe these assets can value-add to your life and they can be used to help make our world a better home.

There is a special space under the sun for you.

Like stars, you can bring light into many dark corners in life.

You can do so much more for the people and the world around you.

I believe there is no better time to be alive than right here, right now.

You can enjoy luxuries that many kings and tycoons in the past could never imagine, let alone enjoy.

With your finger tips, you can access more information than many of the wisest humans that came before you.

You can leverage on more sophisticated resources than some of the greatest leaders that have ever walked on planet Earth.

There is no better time in history to do whatever you want to do, enjoy whatever you want to enjoy, and achieve whatever you want to achieve.

You can create a world that has never existed before.

A world that you have been longing for and one that will pave the way for a brighter future.

You have everything it takes to turn that new world in your mind into a reality.

Whether you soar or sink in life, it depends on one of the most powerful gifts that our Creator has given to you – the gift of choice.

Whatever has happened might not be the best.

However, you can choose to make the best of whatever has happened.

You may not be able to change the situation.
However, you can change your response to it.
You can rise about the situation and determine its purpose, meaning and significance in your life.

In the same way, you may not be able to change your past.

However, you have a choice not to allow the past to shape or condemn your life.

You may not be able to change past experience but you can always draw valuable lessons from it to build a brighter future.

You are free to decide what you want to do with the life ahead of you.

The choice is entirely up to you.

Loving yourself is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.

Back to my story, the words from my teacher woke me up.

For that, I will always be grateful to her.

I chose not to treat my teacher’s words as a pitfall but as a platform to transform my life.

I decided to study hard and pass the final examinations.

In case you need to know, I had reasonably good grades.

I’ll always be thankful and grateful to this teacher for her concern for me.

She awoken me to my lack of indiscipline in my studies and put me back on the right track.

Looking back, many of the most challenging experiences in my life have become major sources of learning for me.

They have helped me to “pass” many “examinations” in life.

Learning how to learn is one of the best gifts that teachers have given to me.

With that gift, I can acquire new knowledge, competence and experiences.

Thank you teachers.

You have empowered me to tap on the possibilities in life and be able to make the most of my journey through life.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

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Life is FUNtastic!


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