Posted by Debby on 15th April and posted in Cultivating Communities, EDC 639

I had a quiet wow moment last night, one that I found very humbling. One of my students, one that has become a good friend, has been having a very turbulent week due to family events that are out of his control. Last night he IM’d me and I could tell something was terribly wrong. I called him and he could hardly talk so I told him to come up to my house. There was a movie that we all wanted to watch and another friend was over, so I thought it would be a good escape for him for a few hours. When he got here, he was visibly shaken and he told us what had happened. Seems like just when he thought the situation was under control, something else unexpected occurred. We listened, because that was about all we could do.

The wow moment came when he gave me something he had picked up the other day. It was a sign that said “To Err is Human: To really foul things up requires a computer”. He asked if I had a permanent marker and then signed the back. It said “To my best friend and teacher, Debby. P.M.A.” (P.M.A. is his signature phrase, “positive mental attitude”).

For some reason, that simple signature struck me deep, and made me feel very humble. I am awed by the opportunities I have to make such friends. I have so much respect for him and wish so much happiness for him. I have felt helpless in the last few weeks as he has gone through some very trying times. His simple act of kindness made me wonder if sometimes just being there and listening is all that really matters. I don’t have the answers to his problems, but maybe that’s not my role. Maybe it is enough to just care.

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