Be the Change - Case Studies
Turning Point of my life
I got full freedom from my parents. They have hardly forced me to obey. But I had been irresponsible. Because of my irresponsibility and bad company of friends, I was addicted to cigarette and used a lot of slangs (foul language). I was so addicted to these things that I could not get rid of them and my health and study had been affected.
When I came to Oasis for Summerhill Camp I realized that freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. I was elected as a jury member and I could develop my skills. Oasis team pointed out and appreciated each and every good quality of mine and treated me as if I were a very good person. I became very happy. But after the camp when I went home I was living the same life as earlier. I was wasting my time in smoking, using foul language and other useless things.
Once, in my school, I was caught smoking so the principal became very angry and suspended me for a week. He informed all the teachers and students and insulted me. He also informed in Oasis that Farooq is a very bad boy and he will be a bad influence for other children. After my suspension when I went to school, the principal informed me that he had complained about me in Oasis and they would not allow me to participate in any of the camps organized by them. I was shocked and worried about the fact that Oasis team had known me as a good boy. Now what would they think about me? They would not allow me to participate in any of camps. But by chance if they allow, how would I face them? They would not respect me like they did earlier. I got very frustrated. But unexpectedly Oasis team trusted me and welcomed me with more love and respect in the camp. I had never experienced that kind of generosity earlier in my life. After that, in a Summerhill camp I used foul language and talked about topics that are considered to be a taboo in our society, so three friends filed a case against me. When I found out about that I requested them to withdraw the complaint. But they were so firm and honest that they refused to do so. Initially, in the parliament I tried to defend myself. But having no possibilities, I threw all my weapons and confessed my mistakes and decided to leave the camp. I told everybody that I don’t deserve to be in Oasis. Now all the children and faculties were aware that I was a bad boy. But for the second time Oasis trusted me. Oasis friends forgave my mistakes and made me understand that I should learn from my mistakes and move forward. In the next camp I was promoted as the duty manager. I was very delighted. Because of that opportunity, I could know myself very well and my self-confidence increased.
Then, I wanted to do something good. But when I went out from Oasis into the real world, in the same old environment I used to behave as usual. I was completely dependent on the environment around me. There was no integrity between my thoughts, words and behavior. Meanwhile, I got attracted to a girl, who was my friend. She often advised me not to smoke. I tried, but could not get rid of it completely. Therefore I continued to smoke but less frequently, but the desire to smoke was always there in my mind. After a few months, I expressed my feelings for the girl, but she was very understanding and a true friend. She told me to forget her. I answered positively but got frustrated, became sad and developed lots of negative emotions. My mother sensed my sadness and asked the reason. I told her, “I like my friend and shared my feelings with her, but that girl asked me to forget her.” My mother patiently said, “Son, because of this attraction, you have lost your friend.” Having heard this sentence, I was shocked. It suddenly struck me that I had really lost my friend. I apologized to that friend. She is so great that she forgave me easily and made sure that our friendship is as good as it was earlier. I became very delighted and thanked my mother. At last, I got rid of my addictions and using foul language.
After that, I read M.H.S. book written by Sanjivbhai. I got a lot of strength and inspiration from that book. Then I spoke with Sanjivbhai regarding that. He appreciated my maturity and told me, “If you keep learning at this speed, you will become a successful person.” He gave me a choice of how I want the other people to look at me, as a good human being or a person who smokes and uses foul language that I have to decide. They also told me that I am responsible for my life. He gifted me a few of his books. Today I have a mission in my life. I want to bring awareness amongst children and youth. I want to live my life successfully. I am trying to control myself and be self-disciplined.
Today I spend some time with friends who smoke frequently but I have control over myself, so I don’t smoke. They use foul language but I don’t. Today I wonder, what if Oasis had not allowed me to participate in the camp after listening to my principal’s complaint about me? What if my mother had scolded me or having considered me as a bad and characterless person, advised or suggested me to be a good person? What if Oasis had asked me to get out of the camp for using foul language? What if Oasis would have punished me or treated me harshly? What my life would be like?
I would have been smoking, using foul languages and wasting my life!
- Farooq Pathan,
Participant of Youth Camps &
Indian Young Leadership Development Program