Thank you Teacher

I was in class 6th, one day my class teacher asked us 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 whispers. “I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!” and, “I didnt 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 didnt 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 kargil 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 as 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 Marks mathteacher?” he asked. She nodded: “yes. ” Then he said: “Mark talked about you a lot. ” After the funeral, most of Marks former classmates went together to a luncheon. Marks 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 Marks classmates had said about him. “Thank you so much for doing that,” Marks mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.” All of Marks former classmates started to gather around. Rakesh smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list its in the top drawer of my desk at home.” Bikrams wife said, “He asked me to put his in our wedding album.” “I have mine too”, Anoop said. “Its in my diary.” Then Shashi, 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,” Shashi said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: “I think we all saved our lists.” Thats 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 dont 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. Being important is nice but its more important to be nice!

 

Anil Sethi

Counselor & Motivator
(anilsethi@gmail.com)

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing, they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.