An Old Story About Dignity and Humiliation
An Old Story About Dignity and Humiliation.
A young gentleman met an elderly man.
‘Do you remember me?’
‘I used to be your student.’
‘How are you? What do you do for a living?’
‘I have become a teacher myself.’
‘Do you think you are good at your job?’
‘The truth is that I am. You inspired me and I wanted to be like you.’
Curious, the old gentleman asked to know what was on his mind and inspired him to such an extent that he wanted to become a teacher himself. And this young man told him the following story:
‘One day a classmate of mine – who was also my friend – came to class and showed me a beautiful new watch he had in his pocket. I could not resist the temptation, and, at some point, I stole it. After a while, he realized that the watch was missing from his pocket and immediately informed the teacher. This person was you. So, you addressed the class and said:
“Your classmate’s watch was stolen during this lesson. Whoever stole it, please return it immediately.”
I was so ashamed of the humiliation I would face in front of my classmates, that I did not dare to reveal myself. Then you closed the door, you told us all to stand up and that you would look in all of our pockets until you found it. But you also set a condition. That we all had to keep our eyes closed to not see the culprit. And so it happened. When you reached me, you found it in my
pocket and took it. But you kept searching everyone’s pockets and when you were done, you told us “And now, you can all open your eyes. The watch is found!”
You never mentioned my name in class, nor did you ever comment on the incident on a personal level. I expected you to scold me and give me a lecture, but none of that happened. That day you saved my dignity forever. It was the most embarrassing day of my life and you taught me a great lesson in your own way. Do you remember the incident now, Teacher?’ ‘Yes, after listening to you, I remembered everything. But there is something I do not remember and that is you, because I also had my eyes closed when I was searching your pockets!’