I have learnt s…

I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.
-Kahlil Gibran


I like Gibran quotes. I’ve been thinking and wondering about this one. We have many teachers in our lives and, true, there are those we would rather forget or teachers that provide only bad memories. We do learn something from them though. We learn what NOT to do in our own lives. However, I think we learn more from those who have been good to us, who make us feel competent and worthy. Those teachers remain with us as reminders of what we can be and should be. I will always remember and be grateful to a man who owned a shop near our apartment. He taught me so much about being kind, about books, about nature. He encouraged me to get my first library card (I was five years old). Above all, I remember how he took my words and ideas seriously. He listened to me with what seemed like so much interest. He involved me in conversations and made me feel older than my five years. I felt good when I was with him.

Of course, the mean-spirited people in our lives remain with us also. We have such visceral memories of them! But we have to let them go or at least not allow them to dominate our thoughts because they’re not worth it.

What do you think? Were there people in your childhood that helped you become the better person you are? Do you think that their kindness (or unkindness) to you influenced your interest in early childhood education?

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