MJC Convocation – Chairman’s Speech

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We celebrated MJC graduation on 29th June 2014. Our beloved Chairperson Dr (Mrs) Mary Job gave a very motivating and thought evoking speech which we are happy to share with our wider Audience  ————————————————————————–

Dignitaries on and off the dais, fellow staff of MJC and my dear little children

I am proud to be once again with you to share your happiness about your success and to share our pride about your achievement.

I still remember attending the ceremony at his school when my son Michael cleared his 12th class as the best outgoing student. But then in a few years his creator called him back.

My Husband then started MJC in memory of Michael. Today I am happy that I get to see graduation of some of my children every year. The celebration never ends.

The primary purpose of MJC’s existence is to empower young girls who come from challenging circumstances. What better way than to give them education and make them fit to stand on their own legs.

Today marks a milestone in this journey. Most of you have successfully crossed one more challenge. We are happy for you.

Let me congratulate the staff and students for your achievement.

We all agree that being in school and college is about getting a certificate of achievement. Graduation day celebrates how each of you performed in the tests and examinations.  But is that all? This is also the time for us to reflect. Reflect on what we have learned beyond what is there in the books. What you have learned that will help you face up the challenges of real life when we our out of this cocoon.

You have been in MJC for a few years. Many of you were away from your family and home. The most exciting opportunity that MJC has given you is the opportunity to be part of a wider family. A family consisting of children from 19 states in the country. It gave you an opportunity to experience the cultural diversity in our country.

What is the learning that you take away from this experience? Has this given a better understanding of what we mean by unity in diversity?

You spent quite a lot of time cramming from your text books, note books and guides. You learned to reproduce quite a lot from all these.  Have you also learned how to think? How to have an opinion that is your  own? Let me quote here from a very learned professor about thinking

Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed”

So let me ask you my children have you learned how to think? Let me ask all of you who have assembled here to think about it. Take every opportunity to enhance your exposure, enlarge your mind and strengthen your ability to think. That is going to be one factor that determines how successful you are going to be.

Today when you stand here ready to take the next step, there a question you need to ask yourself. How are you going to make a difference to the society you belong to?

Will you give a helping hand to reach out to few of those children who were not lucky enough to get this opportunity to go to a school?

Now that many of you are going out into the world, you will face every day the challenge of making a choice. Let me share some of my thoughts on this

There is brilliant one line summary by Jawaharlal Nehru on this. It says

 “Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is destiny; the way you play it is freewill.”

We live in a totally inter-connected world. What we do out of our freewill could set off a series of chain reactions like what happens on the carom board. Sometimes we get the shot right and the outcome is as predicted. Very often the chain reactions we trigger bring about a new order on the board which we never imagined.

Think about this situation. Some crazy kid decides to take his car for a spin. It was his free will. I happened to be in his way and got hit; it was my destiny. I survive with two artificial limbs; it is my destiny. I now have two choices. I can try to live on and find happiness in spite of my broken leg or can spent the life cursing the crazy kid and live a life of regret despair. Here I need to exercise my freewill.

This helps me to appreciate the fact that even though I have the freewill to choose, the options available to me are outcomes of a large number of factors on which I have no control and sometime the choice that we take makes it possible to predict how things turnout. It also teaches me that the freewill to choose does not guarantee any outcome; but I am still responsible for the choice.

How I exercise my freewill is also dependent on my mental makeup and strength. If I let myself to grow up without taking responsibility of my action then I may not be able to exercise freewill to the extent that is needed in any occasion. From this point of view freewill needs to be nurtured consciously and worked upon

We can build up this skill as we build on our muscles. There could be limit on our ability to build on various skills; which could be on account of our genes. But as we have to exercise regularly to develop a healthy body, we have to work on to strengthen how we react to what happens around us.

One of the true marks of achievement in life is the way we master this art of exercising our choice. Let me finish my speech with a prayer that the god almighty gives you the wisdom and strength to make the right choice in your life.

Now it is time for you to listen to this wonderful array of dignitaries who are here to share some pearls of wisdom with all of you.