Too Busy for a Friend…..?   43 comments

I received this by email today and just felt I had to share it…

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 rest 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 person.

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 Vietnam 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.

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Posted 08/10/2013 by linda in Linda's Thoughts

Tagged with , , ,

43 responses to “Too Busy for a Friend…..?

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  1. Brilliant, thanks for sharing…I shared it on my Facebook page…and hopefully someone else will share it too. As a retired teacher, I recognized the outcome as soon as she gave the assignment. What made this truly brilliant is that she wrote the individual replies for each student. That was awesome!

  2. Beautiful story with such an important message. Thank you for the reminder, Linda 🙂

  3. This is such a lovely story, Linda. A great lesson. 🙂

  4. Something we so easily forget in our busy everyday. Fantastic story that we all should take a lesson from. Thanks for sharing it with me.

  5. Thank you for a lovely and moving story.

  6. What a beautiful story – as a teacher myself, it is so inspiring!

  7. I have found you another Linda, whose second marriage 12th anniversary was the same day as your 40th. She blogs as http://benzeknees.wordpress.com/ . I think you might enjoy her style and viewpoints. 🙂

    • Thanks Arch, I will visit her right now.

      • My dearly departed blog-friend Candice Coghill, whom I recently mentioned and previously posted a requiem post for, was the first, and until now the only, blogger who referred to me as “Arch.” I, and she, are greatly honoured. 😀

  8. Thanks for sharing. I had read this story before and it always makes an impact. We tend to forget to tell people how much we care and value them. This is a great reminder.

  9. Gosh….very moving. Now I need to go dry my tears 🙂

  10. Sobering reminder. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. I would like to tell every school teacher I know and don’t know about this exercise. There will be many times in life that everybody needs to remember some people have good things to say about them. And to recall what their good qualities are in the eyes of others.

  12. Thank you, Linda, for sharing this story. It is so very true….those little things said can mean the world to someone. I know they do to me. They become a lifeline. Much like the words you spoke over me this morning. I thank you for your friendship and for practicing what you blog about!! 🙂

  13. We never know what one simple little act or word of kindness might do for or mean to someone 🙂

  14. This is amazing and so nice story, made me cry as this teacher. Thank you dear Linda, love, nia

  15. Today, I will do just that. Thank you for sharing the story of the teacher and that of her students. It reminds us of what simple human kindness, gratitude and thoughtfulness can do to our person’s life and to those around them. We live in a world filled with social media and high tech communication gadgets yet sadly, miss the most importance of truly reaching out and letting others know we care. Wishing you and your family all the best.

    • I thought it was a beautiful story of encouragement
      and self worth, and what you say is so true , you have written this so beautifully. Thank you for your good wishes. God bless you and your family.

  16. Definitely very moving, whether it’s a true story or not doesn’t matter, it certainly could be true, and it certainly could be replicated. The sentiment behind it is important and worth sharing, thank you 🙂

  17. I have read this before and it has the same impact this time around. This is a strong reminder to cherish our friends and family and tell them how we feel often. Thank you for sharing it Linda.

  18. Well what a lovely story, so very moving! x

  19. Thank you for sharing this one, Linda.

  20. A great reminder for those who have friends and do not treasure them Linda. Lovely post and thanks for sharing hon. 😀 *big hugs*

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