Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.

Date: Mon 11/25/2002 8:15 AM
Random Thought: When Small Is Large

Well, I thought, after an exhilarating four days of learning at the Lilly Conference on College Teaching, today was going to be a quick-in for some administrative meetings and a quick-out tomorrow at the crack of dawn to West Tennessee for Thanksgiving celebrations with my sister's family. When I came to the office early this morning, real early, to get ready for those meetings, I found a little folded note slipped under my office door. It looked so innocuous. I was so wrong. It was little only in size. It contained so much. As I quickly unfolded it, prepared to scan it on the run, it slowed me down, stopped me dead in my tracks, plunked me down, made me smile, tightened my chest, gave me goose bumps, and brought a tear or two to my eyes. Someone said, that goose bumps and teary eyes happen when your soul is close to you. Well, I felt it softly breathing down the nape of my neck like loving wisps of my angelic Susan's light breaths.

It simply read, "I stopped by to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and to say thanks. During the past few weeks I thought I would not have anything to give thanks for. I want you to know that your smile and just quietly coming over and telling me softly and in a way no one would notice to let you know if there was anyway you could help me helped me more than you know. I know you don't know what happened. You just care so much you saw that I may have been in need of help. I know you probably didn't even think about what you did. It came so naturally and truthfully from your heart. That's what made what you did even more important to me. It was for me a moment of grace. I knew then I was not alone and dirty. It's really helping me get through this. It doesn't take much to do much, does it? Nice lesson. I will never, never forget it. Thanks for truly, truly caring. You do love each of your students no matter what, don't you. I thought I had only signed up for a history course. It's a heavy course in life, too. Maybe, that's more important. I don't know how I would handle this if it wasn't. Guess I was lucky, real lucky. Happy Thanksgiving. Remember, I want to see you back here next week. So, 'don't eat and drive.'"

I suppose somewhere out there is some profound eloquent verbal postscript to what I'll call this "soul booster." After this reminder that the power of simply being kind is so powerful, that who you are and what you do can really matter even if others don't think so, I'm not sure any moral coda is needed.

It's already a nice Thanksgiving. And, to all of you in the States, let me and Susan wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving. And, remember: don't "eat and drive."

         Make it a good day.


         Louis Schmier      
         Department of History
         Valdosta State University
         Valdosta, GA  31698                 /~\        /\ /\
         912-333-5947              /^\      /     \    /  /~\  \   /~\__/\
                                 /     \__/         \/  /  /\ /~\/         \
                          /\/\-/ /^\_____\____________/__/_______/^\
                        -_~    /  "If you want to climb mountains,   \ /^\
                         _ _ /      don't practice on mole hills" -    \____

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