Events and Insights

Announcements | Events of the Month


November 17, 2023

Avalon Heights

Sr. KG Hibernation Day

Sr. KG students will bring their beloved teddy bears to school, symbolizing a hibernation-themed day of fun and learning.

November 16, 2023

Avalon Heights

School Reopens and Children's Day Celebration

After the break, school reopens on 16th November, coinciding with the celebration of Children's Day.

November 4, 2023

Avalon Heights

Career Fair

High school students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of courses and admission criteria as universities from India and abroad participate in the Career Fair.

November 3, 2023

Avalon Heights

Picnic to Imagica (Grades 9-12)

Grades 9-12 will embark on a memorable Dusshera picnic to Imagica, filled with fun and excitement.

November 3, 2023

Avalon Heights

Pre-primary Diwali Celebration

Pre-primary students will celebrate Diwali with enthusiasm, lighting diyas, and enjoying a potluck lunch.

November 2, 2023

Avalon Heights

Adventure Trips (Grades 2-8)

Students in grades 2-8 will embark on exciting adventure trips, exploring new horizons and creating lasting memories.

Musings of the Month

The Greek and the Chinese

June 1, 2024

Here's a story about the Chinese and the Greek artists by Maulana Rumi.

The Chinese and the Greeks

were arguing as to who were the better artists.

The King said, "We'll settle this matter with a debate."

The Chinese began talking,

but the Greeks wouldn't say anything.

They left.

The Chinese suggested then

that they each be given a room to work on

with their artistry, two rooms facing each other

and divided by a curtain.

The Chinese asked the King

for a hundred colours, all the variations,

and each morning they came to where

the dyes were kept, and took them all.

The Greeks took no colours.

"They're not part of our work."

They went to their room

and began cleaning and polishing the walls. All day

, every day, they made those walls pure and clear

as an open sky.

There is a way that leads from all-colours

to colourlessness. Know that the magnificent variety

of the clouds and the weather comes from

the total simplicity of the sun and the moon.

The Chinese finished, and they were so happy.

They beat the drums in the joy of completion.

The king entered their room,

astonished by the gorgeous color and detail.

The Greeks then pulled the curtain, dividing the rooms.

The Chinese figures and images shimmeringly reflected

on the clear Greek walls. They lived there,

even more beautifully, and always

changing in the light.

The Greek art is the Sufi way.

They don't study books of philosophical thought.

They make their loving clearer and clearer.

No wantings, no anger. In that purity

they receive and reflect the images of every moment,

from here, from the stars, from the void.

They take them in

as though they were seeing

with the Lighted Clarity

that sees them.

Does this story leave you perplexed? Do you wonder what was wrong with the Greeks? Why weren't they doing as much as the Chinese did? Why were they silent? For most of us who have been raised to believe that more is better than less, doing is better than being, and faster is better than slow, we find it hard to understand and appreciate the beauty of simplicity, stillness, and silence.

Maulana Rumi's story is a reminder to look inward, especially in this ephemeral world, where people are constantly chasing outward accomplishments. Outer achievements are transitory and illusive, while inward victories are not only enduring and rewarding but also necessary to be able to enjoy external attainments. Muscle power, intellectual power, and emotional strength all lose their glory without spiritual power. 

Let's assume for a moment that each of us is indomitable, armed with all the muscle and power it takes to be the strongest warrior on Earth. But unlike all the external forces we can conquer, we have no means to quell waves of greed, jealousy, or hatred that rise within us. Can you imagine the result? All the places, people, and possessions mean little when we remain unfulfilled and unhappy internally. 

History, mythology, and folklore are replete with testimonies of legends who chose the love, strength, and serenity that inner (spiritual) power brings. The poignant image of Alexander the Great, whose hands drooped out of his coffin, reminds us of the futility of conquest. With his simple words and tranquil disposition, Lord Buddha subjugated the indomitable Angulimala and the invincible Emperor Ashoka. These are evidence that riches and power mean nothing when pain and peace evade you.

One might opine that knowledge may be the solution here. If that were the case, we would all be revelling in ecstasy, considering the age of information overload that we all exist in! The most outstanding example of brilliance without bliss is Ravana. Ironically, the austere penance that the Mahapandit undertook to gain knowledge led to his downfall since it also filled him with pride. Wisdom, on the other hand, as shown by the likes of Lord Buddha, resides in a space filled with contentment, peace, and humility. 

Returning to the story, the Chinese were not satisfied with the first competition as the Greeks did not say anything. It is the nature of the ego to compare and compete. It loves to be challenged and win to feel better and earn outer validation and approval. The Greeks, who represent soulful beings, are anchored in their authentic and humble core and connected to their conscience. There is little wonder that they found no joy in arguing or winning since they had no need for validation. 

The Chinese asked for the best colours and most intricate designs in their desire to outdo the Greeks. The Greeks focused on their own canvas, choosing to cleanse and polish it to bring out its natural beauty and positivity. The Chinese were motivated by winning, while a passion for self-victory and self-actualization drove the Greeks. 

Does this mean that all pursuits are futile? Should we abdicate all worldly connections and possessions? Can we do this in the real world?

Almost every spiritual path tells you that the answers to the world lie within. The attainment of the self and realization does not necessitate renouncing the world. What we need is a true understanding and the relinquishment of the more basal qualities that suck us in.

To illustrate this, let's look at the chase for excellence. When you want to excel just for a salary, a post, or recognition, it will only serve you momentarily. The very nature of the motivator is to fuel your greed for more. The money will no longer be enough, the thirst for recognition will only increase, and the post is always relative to the next jump. When you consider the desire to excel for the sheer joy and satisfaction of having learned, grown, and contributed that is something that stays with you. It points to an evolved purpose that goes beyond yourself. 

Manifestations in Daily Life

It's easy to take a quick litmus test to see whether you are more like the Chinese or the Greeks. Notice if:

  • You excel effortlessly at tasks but have difficulty respecting and appreciating those who struggle.
  • You have a lot of talent but find it hard to relinquish the chance to someone who seldom has the spotlight.
  • You are a top achiever but lose your temper and get irritated at the slightest provocation.
  • You have won many competitions and medals, but fault-find and cry foul every time you lose. 

Picking the Right Side

While it is essential for us as individuals to take stock of our choices and paths, our responsibility as parents compound manifold. We must learn to shift the focus from external excellence and work towards building excellence in character. The garden we nurture blooms. When we only cultivate attention to marks, our children will join the rat race. When we focus on cultivating virtues, children start working on building character. 

Some ways in which we can do this are: 

  • Simplify life and slow down 
  • Spend time in nature, with nature 
  • Make spirituality a part of your everyday life 
  • Meditate 
  • Teach children to be part of self-less service projects regularly
  • Don't compete or run a race; love, support, and give others space.
  • Talk about the lives and biographies of great luminaries, not just economically successful individuals
  • Make discipline the supreme, not degrees 
  • Practice restraint and defer gratification 
  • Ensure a digital zero-hour every day 

When you shift your gaze from valuables to values, you will notice a paradigm shift in your choices, priorities, and the fulfilment you experience in the things around you. The process of elevation and evolution was never about having more but giving more. 

The Chinese and Greeks both reside within us. One is a glossy veneer that creates a dazzling outward sheen but only successfully masks the blemishes beneath the surface. The other one silently conquers the demons within and digs out the greatness that lies within, reconnecting with one's authentic self. It is a painful, detailed, and long-winded process, but one that eventually radiates a blinding aura that is pristine and mesmeric. 

The person you want to become is a choice that's yours for the taking.

Mrs. Simi Sharma