I heard a most interesting news story out of Japan early this week. It seems that a few men took the opportunity to go stand in a Tokyo park and shout declarations of love for their wives. As I read in a news story (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/01/30/us-japan-husbands-idUKBRE90T05D20130130), for the past five years, a Tokyo florist has promoted this event to get more men to “show their affection in more explicit ways.” Why January 31 you ask? Apparently when you say “January 31” in Japanese, it sounds similar to the Japanese words for “Beloved Wife.” All in all a cute story, but as I reflected upon it, I found myself thinking about the idea of declaring love.
In America, we are not lacking for holidays to express our feelings about the special people in our lives; Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Sweetest Day, and so on. We buy candy, flowers, presents and dinners. We write poems, cards, and notes dripping with love and admiration. This is a good and important thing. We should tell the people who mean the most to us just how strongly we feel. Too many people don’t hear these words; leaving them to feel alone and unloved. What if we could change this? What if we could share a simple word of care and concern for one another – simply telling each other what we admire about them?
That question sparked an idea. What if every teacher in America wrote a short note to every one of their students, telling them something they like and admire about them? Nothing elaborate or overly crafty: A simple 3×5 card laying on a desk or a sticky note on their locker. Imagine how they would feel when your students walked into their school and saw notes taped onto their locker or sitting on their desk in the classroom reminding them of just how special they are. Imagine how good it will feel for you as their teacher to remind yourself of the wonderful blessings that your students are to you and your school.
If you are a teacher or professor, I would encourage you to pick a day this school year to surprise your students with this simple yet significant act of kindness. Share the idea with your colleagues. Post and repost this on your social networking sites. Even if you are not a teacher, you could share the idea with the teachers you know. Together we can spread the word and show our students just how much they are loved. No shouting necessary!
The one element to make this a success is in making the ideas shared with students to be sincere. Research shows that insincere comments in building up a student can actually be a detriment to him/her.
You are ABSOLUTELY correct Dave. If the teacher is only going to speak out of a forced requirement, it will have the wrong impact. I feel this is why we must strive to focus our hearts and minds on the love God has for us and strive to emulate it with our kids. I make it hard for God to love me every day, but I am blessed to know that He still does in spite of me. That’s an even more powerful message to hear than an accolade from a teacher I expect to like me.