Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tattered Pages of Time

Here's a touching story brought to us from a very good friend, Jack....

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
Iraq 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.


MorningAJ said...

I've heard this story before. I try to tell those I love how much they mean to me. And I try to tell people the good things about themselves - because most don't realise what they're truly worth.

I've said this before. You're a lovely guy, and I'm glad I've been able to meet you, thanks to Blogland.

Ms Sparrow said...

What a lovely reminder to all of us!

Stew said...

I especially like the act of telling others good things about themselves in a world that is quick to point out our flaws.

lettersfromlaunna said...

I have heard a story similar to this, I think it is a wonderful idea though, something that our children would cherish if they could have the same thing from each of their peers. Thank you for posting:)

Anonymous said...

My Speech teacher told us this story at the end of the year and had us do the same thing. It's such a great idea, especially in a class that was as close as our speech class was.