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(As told by Wayne Dyer)

By Rutagengwa Claude Shema

Regional Coordinator

Great Lakes Peace Initiative (GLPI)


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                     (As told by Wayne Dyer)

     A fifth grade teacher began her first day with a new class.
All the students were neat and well-behaved, except for Jack, a boy
in the front row, who was slumped in his chair and seemed to need
a bath.  She felt annoyed by his lack of effort, and delighted in
marking his papers all over with her red pen, giving him a big 'F'.

But teachers in her school were required to read all their
students' reports from earlier years.  The first grade teacher
wrote, "Jack is a smart and happy boy, full of promise."  The
second grade teacher wrote, "Jack seems worried about his mother's
terminal illness."  The third and fourth grade teachers wrote "Jack
seems depressed about the loss of his mother."  Now she understood.

     From that day on she was more patient with Jack, focusing on
what he did well instead of his shortcomings.  For Christmas, all
the children brought neatly wrapped gifts.  Jack brought something
wrapped clumsily in brown paper from a shopping bag.  She opened it
while the other children frowned and found a necklace with some
missing rhinestones, and half a bottle of perfume.  She wore the
necklace and put on some of the perfume.  After school, Jack told
her with a bright smile, "Today you smell just like my Mom."

     At the end of the year, Jack told her, "You were the best
teacher I ever had."  About every four years, she received a letter
from Jack, saying what he was doing and adding, "You are still the
best teacher I ever had."  He became a medical doctor, and for his
wedding, he asked his fifth grade teacher to take the place of his
deceased mother.  She wore the necklace and put on the perfume Jack
had given her.  Jack told her, "Thank you for being so patient and
encouraging, without you I would never have made it."  She said,
"No, I must thank you, because you taught me how to teach."

     A Chinese proverb says, "Don't curse the darkness, light a

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