Learn a big life-lesson from a 3rd grader!
This happened when I was in third grade.
After mid term exams we students were shown our answer sheets for each subject, to see our mistakes and learn from them.
Almost all the students would use this opportunity to point out the teachers mistakes in summing up the marks, or to cry out over being awarded insufficient marks for certain answers. Needless to say, I was one of them.
Once such happened, that in search for a probability of increasing my score somehow, I found out that my Social Science teacher had mistakenly summed up to two marks extra.
This surprised me, as we used to believe that teachers were sent from hell to snatch away our marks from us, only to get us a good beating from parents, because that’s how universe worked back then. Right?
Anyway, this put my mind in a state of guilt, as I had been given what wasn’t mine to keep. I hurried my way to looking for any answer that had been unmarked. None, I found.
My mind came to an endless battle with my conscience. I didn’t know whether or not to inform this to someone. We had adapted to the common practice of asking for more marks, atleast in Indian schools. Nobody taught us to lose marks on account of honesty.
Anyway, I let my heart win, stood up and went up to my teacher. She was gathered around with students already claiming a number or two in their answer sheets.
I began by saying, “Miss, I have a counting mistake in mine”. She asked me to wait, until she had finished explaining the other kids why they didn’t deserve what they were claiming.
At last my turn came, and she asked how many marks I wanted more (out of frustration). I kept mum out of fear, and she began counting the marks. She found out that there was a mistake indeed, but the other way around.
Without saying anything to me, she did a +1 to the total, and said to me in a low voice so that other students won’t hear, “ For your honesty!”.
I gazed at her widening my eyes, as if I had been given an award for no reason at all.
I took the answer sheet and quickly occupied my seat back.
We both shared a smile on catching eyes after that :)