Monday, January 10, 2011

Too Busy for a Friend?


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 Viet
Nam 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 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'
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.
Remember,
you reap what you sow. What you put into the lives of others comes back into
your own.
May
Your Day Be Blessed As Special As You
Are
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"Courage is not defined by those who fought and did not fall, but by those who fought, fell and rose again"

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