A Little Kindness in our Hearts
(Clearwisdom.net) Yesterday, as part of our class activity of promoting "Truth, Compassion and Forbearance" to the children, our teacher gave everyone in the class a bookmark with the inscription, "Have you been kind to others today?" After the class, Andy (a name I gave to a boy in my class) pulled the bookmark out and crinkled it with his fingers. I told him not to do that, but he paid no attention to me and walked out. Not realizing what he was doing when he took the first step out of the classroom, he fell into a pit dug for a tree. Moaning and rubbing his behind as he was crawling out, we noticed that the pit was full of bull ants. Both sides of his buttock were bitten by the ants.
I walked over and told him again, "Treasure the bookmark that your teacher gave you." Still in anger, he walked away, paying no attention to me. Strangely enough, he had hardly taken a few steps when another loud cry came from him. He tripped over a low fence this time. I was surprised. The fence was low and anyone could see it. He could have stepped over it easily. His nose was bleeding from the fall. I thought that it must have been rather painful.
Back in the class, Andy appeared restless; he was moaning and groaning. The teacher asked him, "What's happened, Andy?" He replied, "Nothing." But, as soon as the class was over, he jumped up from his chair. A bull ant fell off of his body. He was so angry and raised his foot to step on it. I quickly stopped him. I didn't want him to make another mistake.
Later on, when I related the two incidents about Andy to the teacher, she too, was surprised at what had happened. Back in the class, the teacher reiterated the importance being kind to people and asked us to treasure the little bookmarks she handed out earlier.
After listening to the teacher, we thought that Andy surely had learned a lesson. Instead, he took a pair of scissors and cut the bookmark in half. All of us were angry at his attitude. But then, he got his immediate punishment - he cut his own finger.
Strange things continued to happen. After lunch, Andy joined us at a ball game. He was standing on my left. When I threw the ball to another boy standing on my right, the ball somehow changed direction and hit Andy in the face, causing his nose to bleed again. Everyone was amazed at what had happened. However, Andy was not angry this time.
During the physical education class, Andy told me that he was sorry for cutting the bookmark. Returning to the classroom, I quickly helped him piece the bookmark back together and told him that even that little bookmark had a life.
When I told the story to my mother afterwards, she encouraged me to write this story down and to share it with the other children. I think the person that has benefited the most from this experience is Andy.