If someone tries to sell you a Black Belt certificate in Judo without you setting one foot in the practice arena, would you take it? I would not. That Black Belt and the certificate is of no use if one cannot throw one good punch or demonstrate one flying kick. Black Belt is earned by years of arduous training and by bearing countless bruises, cuts, broken bones, backaches, and whatnot. Black Belt and the certificate are nothing without the pain, anxiety, and suffering experienced in the process of training for it. The same is true for musical instruments or sports or professional degrees and almost everything worth achieving.
I have heard so many people saying, “why 2020?” Why we have to suffer like this, our lives disrupted beyond repair. Locked inside our houses, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries on Zoom, not able to be with our near and dear ones in their needs, nobody had imagined that life could become a long episode of Black Mirror. But, despite all this, what we are today, at this moment, would not have been possible without this pandemic. Despite all the suffering, pain, and loneliness, all of us have matured a bit more, learned a little more, and loved, ourselves and others, a little more deeply.
This pandemic has also taught us that one doesn’t need to go to an office to work, and neither does one need to be inside a college building to learn and teach. For the truly inspired, learning never stops. We, at Jaipuria, have always believed in the philosophy of ‘learning beyond the classroom’ and this pandemic has provided us an opportunity to practice this philosophy with greater seriousness and commitment. Since the lockdown, we have created numerous opportunities for you to learn. JEUNESSE is another such learning platform. It is a magazine by you for you.
Do read it, write for it, and engage in the conversations it starts. I know it is not easy to do anything EXTRA with the assignments, projects, and whatnot, but who wants easy, easy is boring, easy is unproductive, and easy is just easy.
I pray to the Almighty to make our life full of hardness and growth opportunities. And I hope that this magazine marks an epoch of learning and enlightenment in everyone’s personal history.
Embrace 2020 with open arms for it teaches us what no other year has taught us.
-Dr. Daneshwar Sharma