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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Read This

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 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," is 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

"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

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.