Cherish the Encounters with People and Pave the Way


It is not easy for us to understand the souls of others. 

So we judge people by their outward impressions and actions. 

Our thoughts are good at analyzing and judging the superficial aspects of the world. 

That means labeling things. 

We categorize and label everything we see, saying “this is something” or “that is something.” 

We tend to judge things and people that appear in front of us based on our instantaneous impressions of them without thinking deeply about what they are like. 

We have all made various judgments such as, “This person is not nice,” “I think I can get along with this person,” “That person must not be good at his job,” “That person has a bad personality,” and so on. 

However, each human soul has its own story to tell.  

We often make easy assumptions without listening to the stories that are unique to each soul. 

I am going to introduce a story that will make you think about that. 

In Japan, this story became a big topic on the Internet after it was introduced in a monthly magazine named “Chichi” published by Chichi Press, a Japanese press company. 

The following text is taken from that article. 

“Cherish the Encounters with People – En wo Ikasu-” 

(I wrote this article based on a story that Ms. Hideko Suzuki introduced to me.) 

When she became the fifth grade homeroom teacher, there was one boy whose clothes were filthy and disheveled, and she just couldn’t like him. She began to write down only the boy’s bad points in his midterm record. 

One day, she noticed the boy’s records from when he was in first grade. The first grade teacher wrote, “He is cheerful, likes friends, and is kind to others. He studies well and I look forward to his future.” “It must be wrong. It must be another boy’s record,” she thought. 

His second grade teacher wrote, “His mother is sick and he has to take care of her, so he is sometimes late.” 

His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother's illness got worse, he was tired and dozed off in class.” 

His record of the second half of that year stated, “His mother passed away. He has been very sad and has lost hope. 

His fourth grade teacher wrote, “His father has lost his will to live, has became an alcoholic, and has being violent toward him.” 

She felt an intense pain in her heart. She had assumed that the boy was a bad boy, but now she realized that he was a boy who was living with a deep sadness. It was an eye-opening moment for her. 

After school, she approached the boy. 

“I'll be working in the ccclassroom until the evening, so why don’t you study here?  I’ll teach you what you don’t understand.”  

The boy smiled at her for the first time. 

Every day after that, the boy continued to diligently study and review at his desk in the classroom. When he raised his hand for the first time in class, it brought great joy to her. The boy was beginning to gain confidence. 

On Christmas afternoon of that year, the boy pressed a small package against the teacher’s chest. When she opened it later, she found it was a bottle of perfume. It must have belonged to his late mother. 

She put on a drop of it and visited the boy’s house at dusk. He was reading a book alone in a cluttered room. As soon as he noticed her, he rushed over and buried his face in her chest and exclaimed, “Oh, it’s my mother’s smell!It’s a wonderful Christmas today.” 

When the boy was in sixth grade, the teacher was no longer his homeroom teacher. At the time of graduation, she received a card from him. It said, “ You are like a mother for me and you are the most wonderful teacher I have ever had.” 

Six years later, she received another card. It said, “Tomorrow is my high school graduation ceremony. I was very happy to have you as my teacher in the fifth grade. Thanks to you, I will receive a scholarship and enter medical school.” 

After ten years, another card came to her. He expressed his gratitude for having met her in it. It also said that the experience of being beaten by his father made him a doctor who could understand the pain of his patients. The card concluded, “I often think of my fifth grade teacher, who saved me from going down the drain. I feel as if you were God. Now I am an adult and became a doctor, but the best teacher I have ever had is still my fifth grade teacher.” 

Another year passed. The card the teacher received was an invitation to his wedding. 

There was a single line on the card, “Please sit in the seat for the mother of the groom.”  


Translated by Kyoko.u