Today's ramblings

My brother is a secondary school teacher. His favourite biscuits are custard creams and he gave up chocolate for Lent about 40 years ago and hasn’t eaten chocolate since. Yesterday he said goodbye to his GCSE and A level students, some of whom he has taught for many years. He received this letter:

Dear Mr –

Thank you so much for your incredible hard work over the past 4 years. Every lesson of yours I went into I knew that my mind was going to be filled with boatloads of information afterwards.

For months I was convinced that you had an eidetic memory but you’re actually just that knowledgeable about Biology. It’s truly incredible how amazing a teacher you are.

Now I have to admit that I tried to get you some custard creams but everywhere I went they were all sold out! How abysmal!

Unfortunately I do not have the opportunity to demonstrate to you the hard work that I’ve been putting in to try and get the highest grade possible however; I know in myself that I wouldn’t have been in the position I am if it wasn’t for you and for that I will be eternally grateful. All the best

Lots of love –

Excuse me a moment, I think I have something in my eye…

I wanted to share this with you because I think saying thank you has suddenly become one of the most important things we can do (apart from staying apart, obviously!). My brother frequently complains about the pressures of teaching and I haven’t yet met an Education Secretary he likes, but I know he will treasure this letter. A small, kind gesture that reached out to him in these difficult times.

Many of us are experiencing time on our hands, rather than rushing about wondering how we can fit it all in. We are having ‘Sabbath’ forced upon us whether we like it or not. So perhaps we can take time. Take time to tend to our own needs. Take time to say thank you; thank the shop workers, the neighbours, the friends, the rubbish collectors. Maybe write a letter – I can’t remember the last time I sent a letter rather than an email. Being forced to rest, most of us have been given the opportunity to revaluate what is important; health, friendship, human contact. Sabbath theology is about stopping for a while. Saying thank you. Taking time with God. And when we come through the other side of this, these acts of kindness will be remembered.

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