All the Good Things
本文作者Helen Mrosla (海伦·姆罗斯拉)是圣方济各会的一名修女，1991年她将本文投给一本名为Proteus, a Journal of Idea的杂志并得以发表，同年美国Reader'sDigest杂志转载了这篇文章，随后Chicken Soup for the Soul (1993)和Chicken Soup for theHeart (1996)也分别转载了此文。今天，我们一起重温一下这个感人的故事，让我们谨记：一位富有爱心的教育者可以改变人的一生；同时，如果我们乐于发现并赞美他人的长处，这个世界就会变得更加美好！
He wasin the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in Morris, Minn.All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million1).Very neat in appearance, he had that happy-to-be-alive2) attitude that madeeven his occasional mischievousness3) delightful.
Mark often talked incessantly4). I had to remind him again and againthat talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much,though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him formisbehaving. "Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't knowwhat to make of5) it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearingit many times a day.
One morning my patience was growing thin6) when Mark talked once toooften7), and then I made a novice8)-teacher's mistake. I looked at him andsaid, "If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!"
Itwasn't ten seconds later when Chuck, another student, blurted out9), "Markis talking again." I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watchMark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to acton10) it.
I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked tomy desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of maskingtape11). Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off12) twopieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned tothe front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winkedat me. When I walked back to Mark's desk and removed the tape, his first wordswere, "Thank you for correcting me, Sister."
One Friday, I asked the students to list the names of the otherstudents in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each oftheir classmates and write it down. It took the remainder13) of the classperiod to finish the assignment, and as the students left the room, each onehanded me the paper.
That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separatesheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual.On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire classwas smiling. "Really?" I heard the whispers. "I never knew thatmeant anything to anyone!" "I didn't know others liked me somuch!" Then Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister."
No one ever mentioned those pieces of paper in class again. I neverknew if they discussed them after class or with their parents.
Soon I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years flew by14),and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome andmore polite than ever. Maybe since he had to listen carefully to my instructionin the "new math15)", he did not talk as much in the ninth grade ashe had in the third.
That group of students moved on.
Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents metme at the airport. Mother gave Dad a side-ways16) glance and simply said,"Dad?" My father cleared his throat as he usually did before sayingsomething important. "The Eklunds called last night," he began."Really?" I said. "I haven't heard from them in years. I wonderhow Mark is." Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed inVietnam17)," he said. "The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents wouldlike it if you could attend."
I had never seen a serviceman18) in a military coffin before. Marklooked so handsome, so mature.
After the funeral,Mark's mother and father found me. "We want to show you something,"his father said. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thoughtyou might recognize it." Opening a billfold19), he carefully removed twoworn and frazzled20) pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped,folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the pieces of paperwere the ones on which I had listed all the good things that Mark's classmateshad said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that." Mark's mothersaid. "As you can see, Mark behaved better and better at school. It's allbecause of you and your list."
Mark's classmates started togather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly21) and said, "I stillhave my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wifesaid, "Chuck asked me to put this in our wedding album." "I havemine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, anotherclassmate, reached into her pocketbook22), took out her wallet and showed herworn list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki saidwithout batting an eyelash23). "I think we all saved our lists."
That's when I finally sat down and cried.
Sometimesthe smallest things could mean the most to others. The density of people insociety is so thick that we forget life will end one day and we don't know whenthat one day will be. Compliment the people you love and care about, before itis too late.
1. one in a million: 百里挑一；极稀有的人或事
2. happy-to-be-alive adj. 乐天的
3. mischievousness n. 恶作剧
4. incessantly adv. 不停地，连续地，持续不断地
5. make of: 处理，对待
6. thin adj. 失去耐心的
7. once too often: 又一次；次数太多
8. novice n. 新手，生手
9. blurt out: 脱口而出
10. act on: 遵照……行动；奉行
11. masking tape: (绘画或喷漆时用以遮盖无需着色或油漆部分的)遮蔽胶条
12. tear off: 撕下；扯掉
13. remainder n. 剩余部分，其余
14. the years fly by: 时光飞逝
15. new math: 美国的一种数学教育法，注重让学生了解数学观念和结构，而不重视实际运算。
16. side-ways adj. (斜)向一边(或一侧)的；向旁边的
17. Vietnam n. 越南。越南战争(1961 ~ 1975)，为越南共和国(南越)及美国对抗越南民主共和国(北越)及“越南南方民族解放阵线(又称越共)”的一场战争。越战是二战以后美国参战人数最多、影响最重大的战争，也是美国至今唯一一次战败的战争。
18. serviceman n. (男)军人
19. billfold n. (放钞票等的)皮夹子
20. frazzled adj. <口> 磨损了的
21. sheepishly adv. 羞怯地
22. pocketbook n. (没有背带的)女用手提包
23. without batting an eyelash: 连眼睛也不眨一眨，全然不流露感情(eyelash也可换成eye或者eyelid)