It is said that heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and under any number of conditions and circumstances. We need heroes in our lives--to keep the light of hope and faith in human nature burning
bright. Heroism is often born in a flash moment; however, the surreal act etched in time forever.
With a previous employment in law enforcement, and now employed as an English Teacher at a fine government school in Thailand, I would find myself recognized as a hero once more…these crystal words expressed with all confidence, and by a young child at the School.
Thailand is known as “The Land of A Thousand Smiles,” and to have the friendlies people in the world. Yes, this is true what is said—Thai folks are some of the friendliest, kindest people in the world. And yes, they are always smiling and laughing. I believe that this is contributed to their disciplined practices in Buddhism.
As in any school around the world, the day would come that a stomach virus was circulating. And, there it was in class one day as I looked up to see one of our happiest children in class having just “tossed her cookies,” and a fine job she did at that. The projectile reach was…well, in a way, impressive.
However, I had instant concern that this child could choke. My motherly, and law enforcement, instincts kicked into high gear. I sprang into action, quickly helping the child move into a safe position. This, all the while the child was smiling as best she could.
Another teacher dashed-- springing for a trash can. The homeroom teacher leaped for a box of tissue, paper towels, rags…whatever possible while directing students to “leave the scene.” This, all the while one fellow student sat splattered and surrounded by…well, by vomit. This child, too, sat patiently, smiling.
The next day in good humor, and reminiscing about the scene, our most seasoned teacher would coin the student surrounded, and immobilized, by “tossed cookies,” as “the victim.” So, there we had the “response team” in action: Trash can quickly retrieved by one teacher, my helping the child move to the trash can. Whew…just in time for a second wave of “tossed cookies.” Students were directed to move their desks away from the “scene.” The students
couldn't move fast enough! The scene was fluid…no pun intended.
The scene soon stabilized. I, and a student, walked the sick child to the school clinic, this sick wee girl smiling all the way…covered from head to toe in…well, you know, in vomit, yet, smiling all along the way.
I had to laugh to myself. What a sight we were at this moment. I have to admit that I have never seen so much “relief”come out of such a small child in all my days. I asked the child, “Do you feel better now?”
The response was, “Yes, teacher, I feel better,” and with a smile that reached from ear to ear—not a
single complaint. “What a brave child,” I thought to myself.
When I returned to the classroom, one of the young students came immediately to me, running and smiling big, with sparkling eyes, seeming so anxious to tell me something very important. The child exclaimed, “Teacher Deborah, Teacher Deborah, Fah says, ‘You are a hero! You are a hero!’ Fah and I
say you are a hero!”
I laughed at the irony of this heartfelt expression, and thanked these children from the bottom of my heart. What more distinguished recognition can any individual receive in a lifetime than to be named a “Hero for the Day” by children?
Thank you children of Wat Bangplee Yainai School. I love you.