Sometimes a story resonates with you. Gaining an understanding that things are not always what they appear, and accepting others at more than face value.
As she stood in front of her
primary 5 class on the very first day of school, she told the children an
Like most teachers, she looked at her pupils and
said that she loved them all the same.
However, that was impossible, because there in
the front row, slumped in
his seat, was a little boy named Koko Bassey.
Mrs.Thompson had watched Koko the year before
and noticed that he did not
play well with the other
children, that his clothes were messy and that he
constantly needed a bath. In addition,
Koko BASSEY could be unpleasant.
It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would
actually take delight
in marking his papers
with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and
then putting a big “F” at
the top of his papers.
At the school where Mrs. Thompson
taught, she was required to review each
child’s past records and she put Koko’s
off until last. However, when she reviewed
his file, she was in for a surprise.
Koko’s primary 1 teacher wrote, “Koko is a
bright child with a ready laugh.
He does his work neatly and has good manners…
he is a joy to be around.”
His primary 2 teacher wrote, “Koko is an
excellent pupil, well liked by his
classmates, but he is troubled
because his mother has a terminal illness
and life at home must be a struggle.”
His primary 3 teacher wrote, “His mother’s
death has been hard on
him. He tries to do his best, but his
father doesn’t show much
interest and his home life will soon
affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”
Koko’s primary 4 teacher
wrote, “Koko is withdrawn and doesn’t show much
interest in school. He doesn’t have many
friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.”
By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem
and she was ashamed of herself.
She felt even worse when her pupils
brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in
beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for
His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy,
brown paper that he got from
a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson
took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents.
Some of the children started
to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with
some of the stones missing, and a bottle
that was one-quarter full of perfume. But
she stifled the children’s laughter when
she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet
was putting it on, and dabbing some of the
perfume on her wrist.
Koko Bassey stayed after
school that day just long enough to say,
“Mrs. Thompson, today
you smelled just like my Mom used to.”
After the children left, she cried for at
least an hour. On that very day,
she quit teaching reading, writing and
arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach
children. Mrs. Thompson paid
particular attention to Koko. As she worked
with him, his mind seemed to come
alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he
By the end of the year, Koko had become one of
the smartest children in
the class and, despite her lie that she would
love all the children the same,
Koko became one of her “teacher’s
A year later, she found
a note under her door, from Koko, telling her that she was
still the best teacher he ever had in his whole
Six years went by before she got another note
from Koko. He then wrote that he had
finished secondary school, third in his
class,and she was still the best teacher
he ever had in his whole life.
Four years after that, she got another letter,
saying that while things had been tough at times,
he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it,
and would soon graduate from the university with the
highest of honors. He assured
Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher
he had ever had in his whole life.
Then four more years
passed and yet another letter came. This time he
explained that after he got his bachelor’s
degree, he decided to go a little further.
The letter explained that she was
still the best and favorite teacher he ever
had. But now his name was a little
longer….The letter was signed, Koko A. Bassey, MD.
The story does not end there. You see, there was
yet another letter that spring.
Koko said he had met this girl and was going to
be married. He explained that his father
had died a couple of years ago and he was
wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the
wedding in the place that was usually
reserved for the mother of the groom.
Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what?
She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones
Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the
perfume that Koko remembered his mother wearing
on their last Christmas together.They
hugged each other, and Dr. Bassey whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear,
“Thank you, Mrs. Thompson
for believing in me Thank you so much for making me feel
showing me that I could make a
Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered
back. She said, “Koko, you have it all wrong.
You were the one who taught me
that I could make a difference.
I didn’t know how to teach
until I met you.”
Warm someone’s heart today. . . pass this
along. Just try to make a difference in someone’s life today or
tomorrow. Just “do it”. Random acts of kindness, I
think they call it.
Find time to laugh… but not at the weaknesses
Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery,
Today is the present, so let’s call it a Gift!!!
And if you have another few minutes, listen to the Shia Story…