As the story goes…
Every Friday during 8th grade science class the same janitor would come into the room and clean away the experiments from the class before so we could start our work. He moved quickly and it didn’t take him more than three minutes or so to complete the weekly task.
After about two months of class our teacher gave us our first important exam.
The exam was difficult but fair until the very last question which read, “Every Friday a janitor comes into the room to clean away the experiments from the class before. I’ve mentioned his name in thanks each week and his shirt has a name badge on it. What is his name?”
I thought to myself; “Is this some kind a joke?”
Yeah, I had seen the janitor several times but I never noticed a name badge? And I never heard my teacher call him by name before. Was his name Jim, or George, or Billy? I wasn’t sure at all so I just left a question mark as my answer. I was baffled by the whole thing.
As the bell rang and the class ended one of the other students asked if the last question about the janitor’s name was going to count towards the final grade.
The teacher responded, “Yes. The last question on the exam will undeniably count towards your grade. You need to understand that you’ll encounter a variety of people in your life. And every single one of them are important. That is why all off them deserve your acknowledgment, your empathy, your kindness, and even a smile.”
I’ve always remembered that exam and the lesson it taught in its last question. I’ve also never forgotten reading the graded test when it was handed back to me on Monday. I got a B on it, and my answer to the last question was marked incorrect in red ink. Next to my incorrect answer my teacher wrote in, “I expected more out of you on this question. You’re very smart, but you need to pay more attention to your surroundings. The janitor’s name is Joe.”
MORAL OF THE STORY: Be sure to not focus too much on acing a test while you fail at life.
How The Janitor Taught The Best Lesson
– Written by Motivational Joe