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Monday, June 28, 2004

Often Read E-Mail 

I just recieved a little e-mail note from my Mom. It's something I've seen many many times over the years, but it still hits home with me every time. It's just a story. But it's a story with a meaning that we need to remember. Do you tell the people you love them that they matter to you? Do you take the time to make people feel special?

I was always taught, if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. I don't do so well with that sometimes. BUT - I do try to let the people in my life know they are special to me. I do try to make sure they know what it is I love so much about them. Do you? Doesn't it really warm your spirit to know that you matter to someone? Don't you want to share that warmth?

So - here's a little story that shows that. Your assignment for the day? Read it, then make sure you tell someone today what it is you appreciate about them. Believe me, you'll feel as good about it as they will.

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

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

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

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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