We conclude our unit (the one with all the colossal, interconnected questions about how we’re all ourselves colossally interconnected) with some personal reflection on the same questions the students caught Davis and His Holiness grappling with a few weeks ago.
Here are some strands of ponderment and nuggets of wisdom straight from the Jhamtse eighth graders themselves:
How are we all similar?
Dawa Dorjee: We all are similar because every human are made up of same structure of muscle, bone, blood, and body part.
Raju Kumar: We all are similar because we all have same feelings when we are feeling cold or hot or when sometimes some hurting feeling sometimes happy.
Kangyur Sangpo: We all are similar because most of the people say that we all came from monkey and also they said that our mother is Ma Dak Shu Mo and father is Jang Chub Sampa.
Tenzin Lhamu: We all are similar because we all have our own body and we all are living in the same house, that is our world. For example, I have parents and you also have parents. We all are eating food and working very hard. Also we all have two hands and two legs.
Tashi Yangzom A: We all are similar because we all are in one place. I mean we all are in one Earth.
Leki Norbu: In this small round world, all living things are alive.
Phurpa Lhamu: We all are similar in parts of the body that we have and physical challenges like birth, sick, and die. We are also similar in what we need to stay alive like food, shelter, clothing, love, and happy.
Why is it important to see that different facets of humanity are the same at our core?
Langa Tsering: It is important to see we are same because we all are human and we all need happiness. All the people have suffering. Thus who have lots of money, they have also suffering.
Rinchen Drolma: We all human and want happiness and we want we should all be treated equally.
Dorjee Chozom: All people have brain but their thinking is different from all of us. We all have our own opinion to tell.
How are we different?
Tenzin Lhamu: We all are different from culture, different from language, different from colour face, different from situation, and different talking.
Dawa Dorjee: We are different because of people have different thinking and ever people have different culture, languages, lifestyle, and different religion.
Phurpa Lhamu: We all are different in thinking, way we work, feelings towards to human and animals, way we look to nature, and how we learn from our parents.
Why is human diversity important?
Dorjee Chozom: Human diversity is important because the people have to live which places are most suitable for their bodies. When we live together, then in the world there will be no religion and culture. All the religion and culture will be mixed. So, it’s good to be different religions and cultures.
Kangyur Sangpo: It is not interesting that we don’t have human diversity.
Rinchen Drolma: Human diversity is important because if there is no diversity for job and every person is doctor then who will do farm, who will build house? So, human diversity is very important.
Phurpa Lhamu: Human diversity is important because to move forward in different ways by different ideas from different people for benefits for different regions.
What is “development”?
Tashi Tsomu: The development is when there is no hunger, no poverty, no overpopulation.
Tashi Yangzom A: Development means to change bad situation into good situation is called development.
Tenzin Drolma B: Development means getting developed. For example: habit, I developed my bad habits to good habits.
Tenzin Lhamu: Development means that when we will learn our culture very well and we will try to know other culture it is called development. For example, when we are small we don’t know how to wash our face and after we will learn from our parent and we will know that is called development.
Rinchen Drolma: Development is to improve in every work like traditional work and Western work.
Dorjee Chozom: Development is something is improving. We are sending our children to learn something to develop our society. Only having the big buildings and many moneys are not development. We learn something and gain something, then at last our society will be developed. Then we should say it is development.
Phurpa Lhamu: Development is to make new things that benefits for us, like before in India they also have evil system in society like Sati system, child marriage, and girls were not allowed to go to school. After that British bring with them Western education and they help to end evil rule and also help them in education system. Because of that now India’s girls are more students than boys, and also they help to make roads, and industries, etc.
What are the positive and negative effects of “development”?
Langa Tsering: The positive effects of development are all work are getting easier because of we have machine. The negative effects of development are some are losing culture and traditional things because modern things.
Dawa Dorjee: Development is also good and not good. For example, we develop one thing then we lost also important thing such as our Monpa region is getting developed but we are losing our culture of Monpa.
Phurpa Lhamu: Positive list: because of development, make our life easier; we can treat our disease in dangerous situation; we can make our life happy by available of anything; more ideas in solving problem. Negative list: make us frustration by drugs and alcohol; make our life in struggle by global warming and pollution; losing culture; make us fat and lazier by machine doing work instead of human; carrying new disease; destroy beautiful nature; more population; arms race.
Raju Kumar: Negative development is to fight and get the land of another people and any good building and road, etc. Positive development is that the people must be good, kind-hearted, and good technologic.
Leki Norbu: It is the positive thing is that we work right things in our society like to help for sick people like in Tawang the reason Genla Lobsang is helping to poor people recruit volunteers to help our school. Negative is effects to our world to going down like not getting knowledge.
Tenzin Lhamu: The negative effect of “development” is that when somebody will developing their culture and some person will say that first you have to lean other’s culture. The positive effect of development is that when we will learn our old culture and after we will learn modern culture. It is positive development.
What causes contentment? What causes suffering?
Tenzin Drolma B:
Causes of suffering are:
1) need more and more
2) fear of getting lost
3) feeling of scare
4) fear of dying
5) having frustration, etc.
Causes of contentment are:
1) happy for things which we have
2) no fear
3) no feeling of scare
4) no feeling of dying
5) live in peaceful, etc.
Leki Norbu: I was suffering to me getting knowledge.
Tashi Yangzom A: When we get independent to us and we causes contentment.
Dorjee Chozom: Being contentment we should be like farmers, because farmers can farm and they can sell the food and vegetable. Then from that they can serve their families and they can live very happily. Other people will not jealous for them. But the suffering causes when there is so much properties like government person has so many big, big buildings to live and all people are showing jealous to them and it causes so much suffering. We can see them very happy and rich from outside, but from inside they have very suffering and poor than the farmer’s life. Sometimes the rich people take pills to make happy themselves.
Rinchen Drolma: Contentment is cause when we feel that what we have is enough for our life. Suffering cause when we feel greedy and want some more and more.
Dawa Dorjee: Contentment cause that when people get something which is very important in people’s lives. Then people will help the earth improve. Suffering cause that when people did not have contentment or happy. Then it can be destroy the earth.
Phurpa Lhamu: Contentment causes by living in simple lifestyle and having our own land, not in competition with other country or villages, knowing which background we are from and what’s purpose we are working and know who you are. Suffering causes by development and not having happy and love which way we need and having competition and greedy, not having good relationship with others.
What is important knowledge? What is a meaningful education?
Tenzin Lhamu: The important knowledge that we people have to know that we all are same and same from parents. The education means if we will know how to work in garden, how to think, to known about different people’s culture and know about agriculture is called education.
Tashi Tsomu: Knowledge is very important. Knowledge only writing and reading is not enough. Knowledge, many type farming is also knowledge, washing clothes, cooking, car driver, carpenter, this all are also knowledge. If you will think writing and reading is knowledge, it’s totally wrong. Education is meaningful because in education there are so many types of education and all education is important. All education has their different meaning so that’s why it’s meaningful.
Dawa Dorjee: Important knowledge is once we get knowledge then it will help our whole life and we can go anywhere we want.
Tenzin Drolma B: An important knowledge is something to learn what we daily do. A meaningful education is something which we need to know for our life.
Dorjee Chozom: Having knowledge is very useful to us when we go outside countries. If we are uneducated then we are not able to go to outside countries and we have to sit in home just like our parents. The meaningful education is knowing everything which is around us, not only the reading and writing. We should know how to cook food, helping others, being kind, knowing the housework. Then we can say the meaningful education.
Rinchen Drolma: Important education means the work that we know and the talent which we have and using it in correct way and know how to survive on our own. Meaningful education is the education that we gain and can use in meaningful way which helps you and others too.
Langa Tsering: If we work for different people to help them from suffer by using our education then it became a meaningful of education.
Leki Norbu: Meaningful education that means it does not affect another people however we will do good or bad things in the world.
Tashi Yangzom A: The important knowledge is to learn more about our own culture and our own traditional things. Some person they are learning about culture and traditional things but they used to forgetting that how to be kind person and like we can make happiness for other people even us. The meaningful education for all is to try to improve or find chance to learn more that have more education and that can make our future good.
How should we move forward as a species?
Langa Tsering: We should give good education to our young generation. And also teach our culture to them. Then our culture will be never lost.
Tenzin Lhamu: We will help for children who don’t have an education and we will also help for modern students to know about their culture, who forget their culture and working in the gardens.
Dorjee Chozom: We have to change our bad habit first. After that we have to teach others.
Tashi Yangzom A: We need to move forward as a species that we need to take responsibility to our culture or traditional things that we can move forward or to be a better.
Dawa Dorjee: We should move forward as a species by knowing both education of modern and ancient and to become helpful person in people’s life.