As I write this blog I am 48 years old. Nearly 39 years ago I had a teacher in elementary school named Mrs. Matkin. She seemed so old and ancient at the time I had her in school. Mrs. Matkin couldn’t walk fast, her hair had turned gray and her face looked worn and exhausted from her countless years of teaching fourth grade students. Although I cannot remember every detail about what Mrs. Matkin wore on a day to day basis, I can say I remember her always looking her best. But what I remember most about Mrs. Matkin is how she treated her students. Mrs. Matkin played no favorites, never talked down to you as a child, and always showed care and compassion for her clients (fourth grade children). She worked with you if you had trouble reading, showed the math problem again on the board, and she listened to you when you had a long winded story to tell. Mrs. Matkin cared!
It’s funny to think back on your life and know you had a broad number of teachers scattered across your educational career and only remember a handful of their names. I cannot recall numerous college professors’ names, but I can recall and remember Mrs. Matkin.
What kind of impression are you leaving to those around you today? Will you be an example that others will cherish and carry with them throughout their life, or will you be just another face that blends in with thousands of others who left no impression in that persons history? Will you be a boss that employees acknowledge as someone who listened and cared and went to bat for his colleagues whenever they needed a helping hand? Will you be the employee who makes a difference in the organization and others wonder how they will ever do without you? Will you be a Mrs. Matkin?
I’ll always remember the love and kindness Mrs. Matkin showed to me as a child growing up in my hometown. I don’t know if Mrs. Matkin ever realized how her genuine character left an imprint for people like me to carry on for many years to come, and hopefully now to pass on to others for many more years. I’m sure she wondered at times why she was teaching school to a bunch of kids who never listened and were concerned more about the next recess or lunchtime than learning to read and write. I’m sure she questioned and wondered, but I’m glad she hung in there to continue her mission and gift to me and so many other boys and girls my age. To that I say “thank you” Mrs. Matkin! I hope my life as yours will make a difference in someone’s life today like Mrs. Matkin did.
Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.
– Scott Raymond Adams (1957– ) US cartoonist, created comic strip “Dilbert” 1989