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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Think of Nice Things about People!

One day a teacher asked his 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, he gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire
class was smiling.

"Really?" he 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. He 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 war and his teacher attended the funeral of that special

He had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so
handsome, so mature. The Masjid was packed with his friends. One by one,
those who loved him took a last walk by the Janaza. The teacher was the
last one to pass by the coffin.

As he stood there, one of the soldiers came up to him. "Were you Majid's
math teacher?" he asked.

He nodded, "Yes."

Then he said, "Majid talked about you a lot."

After the funeral, most of Majid's former classmates went together to his
home. Majid'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 Majid 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 he had listed
all the good things each of Majid's classmates had said about him.

"Thank you so much for doing that," Majid's mother said. "As you can see,
Majid treasured it."

All of Majid's former classmates started to gather around. Hassan smiled
rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer
of my desk at home."

Jaffer's wife said, "Jaffer asked me to put his in our wedding album." "I
have mine too," Muhsin said. "It's in my diary."

Then Iqbal, another classmate, reached into his pocketbook, took out his
wallet and showed his worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this
with me at all times,” Iqbal said and without batting an eyelash, he
continued, "I think we all saved our lists."

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. He cried for Majid 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...

If you're "too busy" to take those few minutes right now to write the nice
things about someone and send it to them, would this be the VERY first time
you didn't do that little thing that would make a difference in your

Remember, you reap what you sow, what you put into the lives of others comes
back into your own.

"Treat people in such a way and live amongst them in such a way that if you
die, they weep over you and if you live, they crave for your company." Imam
Ali alaihis salam.


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