A young man saw his primary school teacher at a wedding ceremony.
He went to greet him with all respect and admiration!!
He said to him:
“Can you still recognize me Sir?’
‘I don’t think so!!’, said the Teacher, ‘could you please remind me how we met?’
The student recounted:
“I was your Student in the 3rd Grade, I stole a Wrist watch belonging to my then classmate because it was unique and fascinating.
My Classmate came to you crying that his Wrist Watch had been stolen and you ordered all Students in the class to stand on a straight line, facing the wall with our hands up and our eyes closed so you could check our pockets.
At this point, I became jittery and terrified of the outcome of the search. The shame I will face after other Students discovered that I stole the Watch, the opinions my Teachers will form about me, the thought of being named a ‘ thief’ till I leave the School and my Parents’ reaction when they get to know about my action.
All these thoughts flowing across my heart, when suddenly it was my turn to be checked. I felt your hand slipped into my pocket and you brought out the Watch. I was gripped with fear, expecting the worse to be announced. I was surprised I didn’t hear anything, but Sir, you continued searching other Students’ pockets till you got to the last person.
When the search was over, you asked us to open our eyes and sit on our Chairs. I was afraid to sit because I was thinking you will call me out soon after everyone was seated.
But to my amazement, you showed the watch to the class, gave it to the owner and you never mentioned the name of the one who stole the watch. You didn’t say a word to me, and you never mentioned the story to anyone.
Throughout my stay in the school, no Teacher or Student knew what happened. This incident naturally taught me a great lesson and I resolved in my heart never to get myself involved in taking whatever is not mine.
I thought to myself, you saved my dignity.”
“Do you remember the story now Sir? You can’t simply forget this story Sir!!”
The teacher replied, ‘ I vividly remember the story that I found the Watch in a pocket but i did not know in whose pocket the stolen Watch was found that day because I searched your pockets while I also had my eyes closed.”
In life, we need wisdom for everything we do. As Parents, Teachers, Leaders etc… We should be able to close our eyes to some things. Not all misbehaviour require punishment. Some will need encouragement, some mentoring and some monitoring. Be a Leader who impacts, not one who shatters.