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 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.
All of our lives are hectic and filled with complexities but as caring individuals we can’t forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be. So celebrate your friendships now.
Constructive Living Assignment:
So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.
Here are a couple of ways to accomplish this task:
1, Forward this blog on.
2. Send an e-mail to one of your best friends telling them why thet are important in your life
3. Call afriend within the next twenty-four hours and in the course of the conversation tell how important they are to you and identify their strengths and virtues as a friend. .
Finally, as a little guilt nudge, if you do not send you e-mail, or make the call, you will have, once again passed up the wonderful opportunity to do something nice and beautiful– Saying thank you to dear friends for being there for you.
The more people who you send this blog to, the more you solidify a relationship with those you care about. Remember, what comes around, goes around. What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own. May you from this moment on feel very important because you are unique and contribute in known and unknown ways to people feeling good about themselves. So today pick a best friend and send them an e-mail about their strengths and virtues and why you love them. Good Luck. You will feel empowered from this exercise.