You might have seen a video in social media circulation. For those who haven’t, I am sharing a transcript of that video here, which is so so inspiring. While I was watching the video I was reminded of many episodes that happened during my student days, professional career and personal life when my parents, my family, teachers, bosses, colleagues, friends, have overlooked my shortcomings and mistakes and showered their love and compassion upon me. I am deeply grateful to all of them. And I quote —
“A young man went to another Jew at the wedding. He said “You remember me? The old man said, “I don’t remember you. Who are you?”
He introduces himself. The old man said, “Ahh, you were my student. 3rd grade (standard), you were my student. Ya, Wow haven’t seen you in so many years. How is your life? What are you involved in?”
Young man said, “I am a teacher.
“Wow just like me. What inspired you to become a teacher?”
“What inspired me to become a teacher was YOU.”
“How’s that I inspired you to become a teacher?”
“I saw what an impact you have on me. I realised what an impact I can have on children, so I decided to go in to education.”
“Is it? What type of impact that I have on you?”
“I will remind you but I am sure you remember the story. One day, one of my friends got himself – his mother, father bought him a beautiful wrist watch and I dreamt of a watch and I couldn’t afford one. So I decided to steal his watch. He had it in his package. I took his watch. I stole it.
He came into class he saw somebody stole his watch. He came complaining to the teacher that somebody stole his watch. So you made an announcement “who ever took this boy’s watch, please return it.”
I was too embarrassed. I didn’t want to return it so I didn’t return it. So you locked the door. You said, “we will have to line everybody up and empty their pockets in order to get back the watch.” And that’s what you did. I thought to myself this is going to be most shameful moment of my life.
Then you said, “all boys line up at the wall but I want everybody to have their eyes closed. Everybody’s eyes must be closed” and you went from pocket to pocket when everybody’s eyes were closed. Then you came to my pocket, you found the watch, you took it out and went through everybody’s pockets with everybody’s eyes closed.
Then you said, “everybody can open their eyes”, you gave the watch back to its owner. And you never ever said a word to me throughout the entire year. You never mentioned the story, you never mentioned the episode. Then I thought to myself that you saved my dignity that day. Instead of being stereotype, as a ganev, as a thief, as a sakhran, as a liar, as no good….as a despicable child, You really saved my soul, you really saved my dignity. And you never mentioned a word, not only to anybody else, not only to the owner, but even to me. That it had happened, it’s over. I understood the message. And when I looked at that, I saw it – wow, this is what a teacher is, this is what a real educator is, this is what I want to do with my life and therefore I went into education.
The teacher was listening to him and he said Wow, that’s amazing. That’s really amazing.
The young man said, but Rappi you don’t remember? You don’t remember the story? Like when you see me, you hear my name I am sure you remember the story that I stole the watch and what you did and didn’t embarrassed me, you said everybody’s eyes closed and I am that person.
I don’t know, I wouldn’t know. I wouldn’t know the story.
He said, Why not? It’s priti dramatic story. The teacher said, because I also closed my eyes.
We should be able to be such leaders, such teachers, such parents such educators, such maspeal to be able to be there for the people in this way.