Express your love and gratitude

Posted by on Jun 25, 2009 in Inspiration, Personal Development | 2 comments

However cheesy the story below is, it has a point. A very useful point, especially for anybody creating activities for groups of people.

I still have my list and will always remember the warm feeling of happyness and love – not only when reading others words about me, but when expressing my love and gratitude for others, knowing it would bring a smile on their face and love in their heart. Thank you CISV!

The assignment

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 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.

Reality hits

Several years later, one of the students was killed and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. 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 men 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 pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and 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.

Moral of the story

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.

Tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

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


Tess is a location independent Swedish emarketing tigress, and the founder of For the Love of SEO and owner of JoomlaTips. Follow Tess on Twitter: @tessneale / @joomlatips / @fortheloveofseo and Google Plus: Tess Neale


  1. We did the same in my class in college and I appreciate this story very much and feel its honesty and intension! I still keep the envelope with 31 special notes, written with love…but the one I remember most is the one I gave to a girl that before we graduated decided to end her life. I know she cared for us and I know that moment, when she read our notes, she knew she was loved. The comfort of those words are now in the hands of her family, and of the universe.

    Thank you Tess! :*
    .-= Helen´s last blog ..So the story goes =-.

  2. Thanks Tess!! I’ve always loved that story and have told it more than once.
    It is such a great reminder that in our rapid push-push world we often fail to think about or take the time to express the thoughts & feelings of our hearts to others. We don’t tell them WHAT we like about them, and let the know we really care.
    The words “I LOVE YOU” are the 3 most precious words in the world. They heal hearts & build bridges & connections of souls, yet most people are embarrassed to say them – sometimes failing to say them even to spouses & kids.
    I’ve got a challenge for the readers!! Say “I LOVE YOU” to 1 person (non family) a day for the next week. If you make it, you will be healing & blessing a lot of hearts in the future as you continue to say it. The reality is – everyone has a hurting/aching heart. Lift your heart by blessing other hearts!!

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