|I was not sure
where to post this, so thought this would be as good a place as any. I
know most of us have seen this before but it is worth a second look in
One day a 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 their 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 listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On
Monday she gave each student his or her 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 the funeral of that
special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin
before. He looked so handsome, so mature. 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
All of Mark's former class mates 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." Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook,
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. The density
of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one
day. And 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...