Educating Good Habits
Dr. Bishnu Bahadur GC
Education is a foundation of good habits leading to a long-lasting impact in forming and shaping a better life. The expanded form of good habits can influence the life of self, family members, society and the world where we all live in.
All good habits cannot be listed in a short text; and the list varies depending on whether it is for children, for adults or for old age people. However, a few examples of good habits are: to be disciplined, following healthy rules, helping others, respecting seniors and being kind and loving to juniors. Similarly, studying regularly and striving for excellence are important aspects of good habits, particularly for students. Therefore, education and good habits go hand in hand.
In absence of one, a person cannot be complete and he/she is crippled. Education is the prime factor that helps change the lifestyle of a person by imparting good habits, knowledge, skills and behavior. Good behavior is developed in a person if he/she has good habits. Good habits in general are those which are developed and regarded by a group of people or the society for a good cause
Every individual is a different person. S/he has her/his perception, thinking, attitude, aptitude, motivation, background and so on so forth. Similarly, the habit a person is practicing differs from another person. Similarly, S/he may exhibit unexpected behavior depending on the situation. So, all habits cannot be predictable. So it becomes a difficult subject to categorize good or bad and who has good and who has bad habits. However, we can draw a line between good and bad habit that contributes to the development of a person, family and society.
Similarly, it also can be generalized in two categories; at a micro level and macro level. In the case of Nepal, some people, family and community enjoy and promote good habits, but while talking about the macro level, it has not been so, and many of us do not respect and promote good habits that is being reflected in the development of the nation.If everyone is engaged in his/her work, the nation would develop fast and this is possible if we follow the system. In another word, if we all value good habits.
The good habits in the case of a developed country, I observed, is worth stating: while I was in Denmark in 2001 for my studies, I traveled almost every day to the University by public bus for days and months. While I used to be on the bus, many school children from different ages also used to get on and get off the bus in between my journey. I noticed then that they every time got on the bus, they paid the money or showed their cards, took the seat without disturbing to others and while getting off also they stood on the queue and after they got off the bus they crossed the road through the Zebra.
I was surprised then how come that all children and adults follow the rules without any negligence. I questioned it myself; how? And this question is still fresh and not answered completely.
When I was Principal in a Secondary School, I realized the importance and connection of good habits with learning. I found that better performing students were those who were regular, did finish their work and assignments on time and were disciplined. Similarly, these students were found with a positive mindset as well. Thus, I have a strong belief that those students having good habits can show good performance and enjoy their better life as well. Tracy says that ‘Good Habits are hard to practice but easy to live with and bad habits are easy to practice but hard to live with’. Therefore it’s a choice of a learner or a person whether to follow the hard or easy life. While I was in school I prioritized good habits in my students and even today I prioritize good habits as an essential element of life. However, I am still trying to follow the attributes of good habits and I have to learn and practice so many things that I am knowingly or unknowingly ignoring the attributes of good habits. So, I consider that good habits itself is not a perfect subject rather a continuous process in progress.
Similarly, while in school, I emphasized the engagement of students, teachers and all in their assigned tasks. One day I asked teachers to give an example (the best one) of their engagement with the students. Among many answers, one teacher wrote ‘my best engagement with the students was when I tried to enlighten the importance of the straight spine and asked them to make their back straight, I was surprised to see them getting what I wanted to teach. This inspired me that students can learn anything when delivered in the right way’. I believe that engagement of people in the assigned tasks is also a part of good habits that leads the progress of the nation.
Foundation of Good Habits
Family, schools, colleges, universities, academic institutes, communities are the ones which can play a vital role to help form good habits in children and adults. In order to inculcate good habits in children, especially the seniors are more responsible for showing their own good habits, good behaviors rather just to instruct others. In the case of Nepal, we expect more from juniors and from others than we practice ourselves.
Similarly, this subject is less prioritized as well as less practiced at homes, schools, colleges and academic institutions of Nepal. If parents and seniors are making money through illegal means, lying with others and asking their children and juniors to be good people, how can it be expected a good society, where new generation would come up with good habits and would take the responsibility of a good and responsible citizen.
Habit is my/your choice; I/you can choose right or wrong, good or bad. Once a habit is formed, then you start engaging unconsciously in this and you cannot avoid it easily. Alcoholic people and gamblers also realize their mistakes later on and try to withdraw from their habit; we categorize these as bad habits but we cannot change them easily.
On the other side, if you are on a right track then also you cannot easily change your habit and become a gambler or an alcoholic person. Spending more time on mobile or computer than it is required is also not a good habit. So, we encourage and advise students and all in society to follow, develop and practice good habits. If you/we want to achieve your/our academic, professional goals and lead a happy life, follow good habits.
It is said that habit cannot be changed easily, so follow the formula: ‘better prevent and prepare than repent and repair’. Research has shown that more than 40% of activities people performed each day were not simply the actual decisions but were guided by their/our habits. Therefore, if we want to change our society for its betterment, we should give high priority to Good Habits.
If you want to publish anything, we welcome you with a smile. Just remember firstname.lastname@example.org for it.