You may have one proverb or word of wisdom passed onto you by a parent. My mothers favourite saying was; ‘You Reap What you Sow’. It still rings in my ears, 50 years on.
I was reminded of that Biblical quotation, in the early hours of this morning, by an email sent to me, from the father of an old friend, that I have known for over 50 years.I thought I would share this email with you. It is about a Maths teacher, in America, in the 1960’s. The story is as follows.
One day, the teacher asked her students, to list the names of the other students in the room, on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them, to think of the nicest thing, they could say, about each of their classmates and write it down.
It took the remainder of the class period, to finish the assignment and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers. That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student. on a separate sheet of paper and made a list of what everyone else had said about that individual.
On Monday, she gave each student their list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments.No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on. Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended his funeral. The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin. As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her.
‘Were you Mark’s math teacher?’ he asked. She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’
After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.’We want to show you something,’ his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.’ Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two, worn, pieces of notebook paper, that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things, each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.
‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark treasured it.’ All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home. ‘Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’
‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said. ‘It’s in my diary’. Vicki, another classmate, reached into her handbag, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times,’ Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists’.
That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again. We take life, friends and family for granted so much, we forget, that it, will end one day. We don’t know when that one day will be.
So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late. One Way To Accomplish This Is; to FORWARD a link to this article. If you do not send it, you will have, once again, passed up the wonderful opportunity, to do something nice and beautiful. If you’ve received this, it is because someone cares for you and it means there is probably at least someone for whom you care..
If you’re ‘too busy’, to take those few minutes right now, to forward a link to this article, would this be the VERY first time you didn’t do that little thing that would make a difference in your relationships?
The more people that you send this to, the better you’ll be, at reaching out to those you care about. Remember as my old mum used to say, you reap what you sow. What you put, into the lives of others, comes back into your own. The law of Karma.
May Your Day Be Blessed As Special As You Are!
My name is Steve Howard. You have been reading the Digital Circus.