Do you remember
At the moment, the bits and pieces that are coming to me are about 15 other
kids and myself sitting in a circle playing "Doggy, doggy, where's your
bone?", making make-believe boats out of card-board brick blocks, and
taking naps on the sailboat blanket mom had hand-stitched my name on with
thick white yarn.
(Ever wonder who came up with the idea of "nap-time"? Most
five-year-old kids want to lay down and be quite for 30 minutes just as much
as your average cat likes to jump in a tub full of water. But that's
While I was thinking what to write for this article, Mrs. Mann, my
kindergarten teacher came to mind. I had always liked her and probably
consider her my favorite teacher. But why?
Mrs. Mann was our teacher for only part of the year as she was hit by a
train. Somehow, though, she managed to come through it all with a broken
collar bone and some other injuries; it was enough, however, to put her out
of school for the rest of the year. I don't remember seeing her again after
that. So why is it after all this time I still feel a very warm fondness for
Mrs. Mann, even though it's been 25 years since she was my teacher? Good
question, and one I couldn't answer until...
I was waiting tables at Bill Knapp's (a family restaurant) during college
and one day a co-worker said to me, "There's a woman in the booth up
front that says she was your kindergarten teacher." I immediately went
to her table and she said, "Hi Marc, how are you doing?" Now
remember, this was over 15 years later. I think most people have a hard
enough time remembering someone they met last year, let alone someone who's
grown three feet and become an adult.
I asked her how she recognized me, and she told me that her students pretty
much looked the same even though we'd grown older. She also said she liked
to keep tabs on who was getting married by watching the wedding
announcements in the paper. That impressed me.
It also explained the reason I liked her so well--because she cared, and
still does. Think about the relationships you value.
Are the ones you value the most with people who demonstrate a caring
attitude toward you? I bet they are. If you use this concept of caring and
show your interest in others this way, your relationships will become that
much stronger and you'll get that much more out of life.
I'll bet you'll see that as you ask people how something important in their
life is going, powerful things will start to happen. My guess is you'll see
some quick initial results which may seem to plateau, and then with
continued investment, your life will keep changing for the better.
Do I guarantee it? The better question is, do you guarantee it? You have the
power to make your life anything you want it to be. I want to see you happy,
healthy, surrounded by good people, and prosperous. I hope you do, too.
is like an investment--invest in yourself in good ways, and it will pay you
handsomely for life. When people fail to invest in themselves, they fail
themselves as well as well as people they've never met and could have had a
positive impact on, just as Mrs. Mann invested in me and I'm sure every
student she ever worked with.
Apply this idea to your personal relationships, career, or business. It's an
unwritten rule that whatever you give will come back to you, and I've seen
it myself many, many times... but that's another issue.
Thank you Mrs. Mann.
Anyone else for graham crackers, milk, and a nap?
Kathy Sly and Marc Wiltse. All rights reserved.