at the UC33, at the end of the year – I remember my co-workers and I taped a piece of paper to our backs – we all walked around, signing the sheet and writing down something nice about that person – I still have that sheet in my diary.
the next year at the lab – we do a huge piece of butcher paper (we didn’t tape it to our backs) and did the same thing. It’s hanging in my room right now…
it made me feel special and it’s wonderful to know how we touched each other, in our lives 🙂
with my brother in the army…it scares the crap out of me to think about him being taken out of my world. out of my life. i showed my mom his tags and I told her – you never want to see this without him because it could only mean one thing. as a catholic – he was also given a medal to hang with his tags: St. George – the patron saint of soliders….the slayer of dragons.
i use to tell him that i’ll enlist as well, so i could be by his side…..i’m a pacifist at the moment – especially for this American war coming up. I don’t think I could kill somebody at the behest of my country. I can only fight in self defense of my family and my friends. he told me that he didn’t want to have to worry about saving my ass as well. he said he would break my legs if i tried to do that….i guess it’s his way of telling me he loved me.
i support him -despite my objections to war – i support his conviction and respect his decision to risk his life for the defense of our country and principles. and i know he can take care of himself. i know he can survive. i also believe he will make the right choices when the time comes. that he won’t blindly follow orders, even though the military tried to drill that attitude into him.
it pisses me off at the liberal hypocrisy in the bay area – especially in berkeley. at church – during our prayers of intentions – one of the prayers is for peace and for our government and military to lay down its arms. i’ve always been tempted to add a prayer for the men and women of our armed forces – for God to protect them and to give them the strength to endure. i am ashamed at how some berkelyites treat military folk – with disdain and disrespect – it’s not their fault that we’re going to war! blame it on bush! but don’t diss on these honorable people who are literally risking their lives to preserve your hypocritcal butts. my brother is so strong and he endured too many instances of prejudice and hate from berkeleyites….he said he never wanted to wear his uniform in this town, because of the horrible reaction to it. for his sake – i wanted to smack some sense into those people. save your hate for the real problem – our executive branch – making decisions, not in the name of the voters and citzens – but for the sake of their vanity and greed – corporate intrests.
as a barista at Starbucks, I spoke to one of my customers about this berkeley hate and he told me he had a brother who was in Cal’s ROTC program, during the 60’s. When he walked on campus, other students would curse at his brother, and egg him, when he wore his uniform on campus. how horrible.
sorry for ranting…my tangents take on a life of their own….
…and now…that sweet forward.
Too Busy for a friend
One day a teacher asked her 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 individual.
On Monday she gave each student his or her list.
Before long, the entire class was smiling.
“Really?” she 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.
She never knew if they discussed them after class 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 Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student.
She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature. The church was packed with his friends.
One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin.
The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.
As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her.
“Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. She nodded: “yes.”
Then he said: “Mark talked about you a lot.”
After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’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 Mark 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 she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.
“Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.”
All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.”
Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.”
“I have mine too,” Marilyn said. “It’s in my diary.”
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her purse and showed her frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times, ” Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: “I think we all saved our lists.”
That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark 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.