Story Time: A new skill

November 30, 2019

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Zainab felt bored during her summer holidays until she decided to join a neighbourhood story club where she could listen to some wonderful stories. The storyteller’s style of telling stories was so captivating that all the children enjoyed themselves.

The club held some other good activities as well, such as debates, picture-description, drawing, painting, interactive-talks, interviews and lots more.

One day, Zainab was assigned a topic to speak on. She had to talk about honesty for 10 minutes. She was worried because she suffered from glossophobia, or speech anxiety, which is fear of public speaking. Zainab began to think of ways to get out of doing this task. She felt helpless. Finding no way out, she went up to the trainer and told her about her phobia, requesting her to spare her from this assignment.

But the trainer refused to accept her excuse and said, “Every single one of us is suffering from one phobia or the other. We should be brave enough to confront our fears. Go ahead and prepare your talk on the given topic and, don’t worry, I’ll be there to help you.”

With no option left, that evening Zainab had to sit and research the topic. Needless to say, she began half-heartedly. It took a lot of thinking and discussions with her parents, but finally she managed to jot down some points. She prayed that her confidence level remained high while she faced her group next day.

When her name was called, she came to the podium with her legs trembling, heart pounding and face red. She tried her best to maintain her poise, introduced herself elegantly and announced the topic she was supposed to speak on.

Numerous pairs of eyes were focused on her. For a moment, she became confused, but soon mustering up some courage, she managed to ask a question: “First, I invite all of you to share your definition of honesty.”

Many hands raised in response. She allowed one girl to speak at a time.

At this moment, she realised that she was in-charge of the task. It boosted her confidence up to the skies. The talk was excellent and the session ended with a thunderous applause.

Some of the points Zainab talked about were as follows:

Honesty, on the student’s part includes:

• Speaking the truth.

• Admitting being wrong.

• Not cheating in exams.

• Giving due attention to studies.

• Mentioning the reference when quoting a text.

• Not giving a false excuse for being absent on test day, or for not doing homework.

• Not eating someone else’s lunch or using their stationery without permission.

Honesty on the teacher’s part includes:

• Preparing for the lectures diligently and delivering them effectively.

• Giving satisfactory answers to the students’ queries.

• Making sure that every student is learning the daily lessons and completing the assessments on time.

• Planning the course according to the given instructions.

• Following all the rules set by the institute, e.g. not using the mobile phone in classroom.

Honesty in daily life:

• When you are given permission to go to a particular friend’s place, don’t slip out from there to another friend’s place.

• Don’t spread rumours.

• If parents don’t allow you to play a particular game, stay away from it.

• If someone has trusted you with something, whether to keep something safe or their secret, do not betray their trust.

Advantages of honesty:

As you well know, honesty is the best policy. It gives you the best reward in this world as well as in the hereafter.

Honesty ensures authenticity. And on top of it all, it gives a person an inner satisfaction and a sound conscience.

Everyone loves and trusts a person who is honest.

She felt victorious after the talk, as she had finally overcome her phobia and learnt a new skill.

Published in Dawn, Young World, November 30th, 2019