Runners-up

“A village schoolteacher from Maharashtra has been awarded the 2020 Global Teacher Prize – and has vowed to give half of the $1 million prize money to the runners-up.” This was the heading of a news article I just read. 

And what was the idea behind this? He explains: “I believe that if I share this prize money with nine teachers it means I can scale up their work. Their incredible work is still worthy… If I share the prize money with the rest of the teachers they will get a chance to continue their work… and we can reach out and lighten the lives of as many students as we can.”

Of course, no one asked him to do so nor was it required, he could have kept the prize for himself and nevertheless be appreciated and praised. Being selfless and compassionate is always a choice and by doing this, he sets an example for all other people who win. This school teacher thoroughly recognised the efforts of other finalists, something we usually forget in competitions. Just becuase you came first doesn’t mean that the people who came second or third didn’t work hard.. You don’t have to be super proud or think that you’re better than them. 

Despite being poor himself he shared half of it with the nine runners up (who were from United States, Britain, Vietnam, Nigeria, South Africa, Italy, South Korea, Malaysia and Brazil) so that they could help more children. Put yourself in his shoes, would you part the one million dollars among the runners-up or conserve for yourself?