Knotty Musings

Ideas, philosophies, and evil plots to take over the world through love hatched here.

I Am Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

Remove the Nots

Remove the Nots

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Heart Test

"Heart Test"

As she stood in front of her 5th grade class

on the very first day of school, she told the

children an untruth. Like most teachers, she

looked at her students and said that she

loved them all the same. However, that was

impossible, because there in the front row,

slumped in his seat, was a little boy named

Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year

before and noticed that he did not play well

with the other children, that his clothes were

messy and that he constantly needed a bath.

In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.

It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson

would actually take delight in marking his

papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's

and then putting a big "F" at the top of his

papers. At the school where Mrs. Thompson

taught, she was required to review each child's

past records and she put Teddy's off until last.

However, when she reviewed his file, she

was in for a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is

a bright child with a ready laugh. He does

his work neatly and has good manners....

he is a joy to be around.."

His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an

excellent student, well liked by his classmates,

but he is troubled because his mother has a

terminal illness and life at home must be a


His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's

death has been hard on him. He tries to do

his best, but his father doesn't show much

interest and his home life will soon affect

him if some steps aren't taken."

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy

is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest

in school. He doesn't have many friends and

he sometimes sleeps in class."

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem

and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even

worse when her students brought her

Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful

ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's.

His present was clumsily wrapped in the

heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery

bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it

in the middle of the other presents. Some

of the children started to laugh when she

found a rhinestone bracelet with some of

the stones missing, and a bottle that was

one-quarter full of perfume.. But she stifled

the children's laughter when she exclaimed

how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on,

and dabbing some of the perfume on her

wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school

that day just long enough to say, "Mrs.

Thompson, today you smelled just like my

Mom used to." After the children left, she

cried for at least an hour.

On that very day, she quit teaching reading,

writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began

to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid

particular attention to Teddy. As she worked

with him, his mind seemed to come alive.

The more she encouraged him, the faster he

responded. By the end of the year, Teddy

had become one of the smartest children in

the class and, despite her lie that she would

love all the children the same, Teddy became

one of her "teacher's pets."

A year later, she found a note under her door,

from Teddy, telling her that she was still the

best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note

from Teddy. He then wrote that he had

finished high school, third in his class, and

she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter,

saying that while things had been tough at

times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it,

and would soon graduate from college with

the highest of honors. He assured Mrs.

Thompson that she was still the best and

favorite teacher he had ever had in his

whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another

letter came. This time he explained that after

he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go

a little further. The letter explained that she

was still the best and favorite teacher he ever

had. But now his name was a little longer....

The letter was signed,

Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there

was yet another letter that Spring. Teddy said

he had met this girl and was going to be married.

He explained that his father had died a couple

of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs.

Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding

in the place that was usually reserved for the

mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess

what? She wore that bracelet, the one with

several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she

made sure she was wearing the perfume that

Teddy remembered his mother wearing on

their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard

whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank

you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me.

Thank you so much for making me feel

important and showing me that I could

make a difference."

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes,

whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have

it all wrong. You were the one who taught

me that I could make a difference. I didn't

know how to teach until I met you! ."

(For those of you who don't know, Teddy

Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist in Des

Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

Warm someone's heart today. . . pass this along.

I love this story so very much, I cry every time

I read it. Just try to make a difference in

someone's life today? tomorrow? just "do it".

Random acts of kindness, I think they call it?

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