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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

As you sow, so you reap

A teacher's role does not end merely at teaching. A teacher has to ensure absorption of right values of life. No evidence better than to pull out from the life of Seneca for this.

Whilst Seneca's treatises espouse his 'Stoic' views about human behaviours - living a life of tranquility, serenity and composure on the one hand, he failed to influence his student - the wicked Nero, who conveniently picked up only the strategies for cunning warfare that Seneca taught him as part of statesmanship tutorials and ignored the wiser elements of his teachings.

Seneca the Stoic philosopher was the teacher of the Roman Emperor - Nero .... from the time young Nero was barely 12 years old. Nero was the only child of Claudius & Agrippina.

Unfortunately, Nero hated his mother - Agrippina. He devised a cunning plan to assasinate her by sinking the boat she had sailed on as she came to visit him for celebrations on her return.

Unfortunately, the plan got botched up. Agrippina was saved. People were upset. But Nero used the political savvy he had learnt under Seneca and turned the tables. He blamed Seneca for the entire conspiracy to kill Agrippina. As punishment, he was ordered by by his illustrious student to commit suicide by cutting off his own veins !!!

Teachers and authors of cruel strategies should be mindful ... their students may just use the same cruel strategies, someday against them after they have learnt it.

Thus they say - as you sow, so you reap !!! Crime & crookedness have a tendency to visit their authors and teachers frequently unless they build wise shoulders with values in their students that know when to use it the right way.

We don't chastise our favourite soldiers ( read Associates and team members in our Corporate teams ), when we see them going wrong. Managers sometimes are complicit. They tacitly support such wrong behaviours when inter-departmental political war-lines are drawn.

Unfortunately, cunning has a tendency to backfire and that the teacher forgets to realise or teach. That often hurts them later.

Ironically, Seneca the great philosopher and teacher learnt this simple lesson much later, only by sacrificing his life.

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