The first class was horrible. I was tired with a short temper and shouted way too much at the kids. There were those four boys who always talk and cause trouble. They made me so upset, and one in particular was being so disrespectful I seriously wanted to cry.
When I went to teach my second English class of the day, I was feeling down and discouraged. I walked in two minutes early and asked the kids please to be extra good today. I had a stack of graded exercise books in my hands, and I went from desk to desk passing them out while we waited for the bell to be rung. I didn’t smile the entire time until something simple yet wonderful happened.
When I reached Ohemaa’s desk, and placed her homework book on her table, she looked up at me with a smile and said, “Thank you.”
Thank you. Such simple words. Sometimes “thank yous” are just a formality, but at other times, they can mean SO much more.
I had been kind of rushing from desk to desk, but when Ohemaa said that, I stopped. For the first time in hours, I smiled. “You’re welcome,” I said.
Lisa sits right behind Ohemaa. She also thanked me, and I also stopped and smiled when she said that. I continued passing out the homework books, but the only other student to thank me was Asabea.
Those three students with their three little “thank yous” really made a difference in my day. They didn’t have to thank me – I was just returning their homework books! – but their thoughtfulness put three big smiles on my face and gave me the drive to make it through another class.
Ohemaa stopped by my desk at closing, and I pulled her aside and told her how much her “thank you” meant to me. I explained how sad and unappreciated I had been feeling, but how her thoughtfulness and appreciation had made me feel so happy. “Thank you for saying ‘thank you!’” I said.
She just smiled really big and wrapped her little arms around me in a huge hug. I whispered into her ear, “This is why I think you’re an angel!” and she squeezed me tighter.
It was some form of karma, I’m sure. I say “thank you” all the time for little things like that, too, but I never thought it could make such a difference in someone’s day. I mean, I’m sure it doesn’t always matter to people to hear it, but maybe that waiter was having a really bad day or something, and maybe when I thank him for bringing the water, it could put a smile on his face. I’m glad I say “thank you” so much because now, when I most needed it, my kindness came back to me. Anyway, just keep this in mind the next time someone does something nice for you, however small. Your “thank you” could make a huge difference in his or her day like Ohemaa’s, Lisa’s, and Asabea’s “thank yous” did in mine!