Stones and Flowers
--by Author Unknown, posted Jan 29, 2007
of the excitement. As it happened, he did get caught.
The man who lived next door came to his house and told his parents about the boy and the stones. ‘I would like Juan to come to my home so I can show him a few things,’ the man said, in a tone Juan found rather ominous. His parents, ashamed of and disappointed by their son’s behavior, readily sent their son to the neighbor’s house. Juan sheepishly followed the man into his house, through the back door, and out into the yard. There, next to the fence, was a greenhouse. The neighbor led Juan into the greenhouse, and Juan, imagining all manner of punishments, felt he was going straight to hell. What was the man going to do to him?
As he led Juan down the rows of plants, the man began talking about flowers. He took Juan slowly, showing him each one and explaining what he loved about them. These, he said, are my gladiolas. They can get quite large and bloom in many colors. These are violets; they were my wife’s favorite. When I see them, I remember her, and I miss her. In the deep purple, she lives in my eyes. And these orchids, right here, are very difficult to grow. But when they bloom, they create the most exquisite shape and texture. You cannot believe until you see with your own eyes how a flower can be so beautiful.
Juan was amazed. There was no lecture, no beating, no punishment. After about an hour of showing Juan everything he loved about his flowers, and the greenhouse that helped him to grow them, he thanked Juan for coming, and told him he was free to go.
As he walked home, Juan strangely felt as if he had been in heaven. ‘At that moment,’ Juan said, ‘I knew I would grow up to be a teacher. This man had done a very small thing; he showed me what he loved. He could have yelled about the glass, punished me for being cruel, but instead he took a few thoughtful minutes to share with me the fragrances and colors that meant so much to him. In a single hour, that man changed the course of my entire life.’
Gentle teaching always better than force
what a story.
It's hard to believe that there are people like this.