Kindness is a subject we talk about often in the group. In fact we published a blog on this two weeks ago so we are delighted that it is the focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. We couldn’t agree more.
The smallest acts of kindness can have a profound impact such as a smile, a thank-you, saying ‘hello’ or ‘sorry’.
As Francis of Assisi notes: “A kind face is a precious gift”.
Maya Angelou observed “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The following is a story sent by a group member illustrating how even in correction the greatest lessons are delivered kindly:
An old man meets a young man. The young man asks: “Do you remember me”?
The old man says no. The young man tells him he was his student, and the teacher asks: “What do you do now in life?”
“I became a teacher ” said the young man.
“Good” said the old man “like me”.
“I became a teacher because you inspired me to be like you “.
The old man asks the young man what had inspired him. The student told him this story:
“One day, a friend of mine, also a student, came in with a new watch, and I decided I wanted it and I stole it, I took it out of his pocket.
When my friend noticed that his watch was gone he immediately complained to the teacher. As that teacher you said: ” This student’s watch was stolen today. Whoever stole it, please return it”.
I didn’t return the watch because I didn’t want to. You told us you were going to search our pockets, one by one until the watch was found.
You would only look for this watch if we had our eyes closed. You went from pocket to pocket. When finding the watch in my pocket you took it. You continued searching everyone’s pockets. When finished you said. “Open your eyes, we have the watch”.
You never told who stole the watch. That day you saved my dignity. This could have been the most shameful day of my life. But because of your kindness I decided not to become a thief.
You did not shame me, scold me or moralise me. Through kindness I received your message clearly.
Thanks to you, I understand what a real educator needs to do.
Do you remember this episode Professor? The Professor answers: “I remember the situation, the stolen watch, I didn’t remember you, because I also closed my eyes while searching. This is the essence of teaching, if to correct you must humiliate; you don’t know how teach.