Thanksgiving Day was near. The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment–to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful.

Most of the class might be considered economically disadvantaged, but still many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student’s art. And they were.

But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher’s true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes.

Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.

His abstract image captured the imagination of his peers. Whose hand could it be? One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went–until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself.

When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas’ desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was.

The little boy looked away and murmured, “It’s yours, teacher.”

She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, “Take my hand, Douglas, we’ll go outside.” Or, “Let me show you how to hold your pencil.” Or, “Let’s do this together.”

Douglas was most thankful for his teacher’s hand.

Brushing aside a tear, she went on with her work.

The story speaks of more than thankfulness. It says something about teachers teaching and parents parenting and friends showing friendship, and how much it means to the Douglases of the world. They might not always say thanks. But they’ll remember the hand that reaches out.
–author unknown

7 Responses to The Hand

  1. Jeremy says:

    Good teachings…

  2. Pamela says:

    I read this the day I returned from the Thanksgiving break. As a teacher, I was wondering how I would trudge through the remaining three weeks until Christmas break. “The Hand” stopped me in my tracks and tells me how blessed I am to have three weeks to make a difference in my students’ lives. God knows what we need, before we ask!!! What a good, good Father!!!

  3. Sera says:

    Very touching it brings to light one of the sayings: “People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you make them feel”.

  4. Mercy Satsatin says:

    What a good boy he is… Douglas appreciate what his teacher did to him whenever he needs guidance on his way out. This boy really touched me.

  5. Jude Wilfred Pinto says:

    I’m really touched…The story brought tears in my eyes too…

  6. p thole says:

    very powerful indeed!

  7. Indrani Doman says:

    Oh My gosh!! this message is so touching, it’s amazing how deep some children/people think.
    A good friend always quoted for me Ralph Waldo Emerson “Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself”.
    This message brings the quote to life.

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