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. 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.
The students were happy with themselves and one another.
‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments. The students were happy with themselves and one another.
Several years later, one of the students was killed in a military activity
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 ground 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 walk past.
As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Karim’s math teacher?’ he asked.
She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Karim talked about you a lot.’ After the funeral, most of Karim’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Karim’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 Karim 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 Karim’s classmates had said about him. ‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Karim’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Karim treasured it.’ All of Karim’s former classmates started to gather around. They said they all have that piece of paper as a memento.
That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Karim 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.