The following letter to the Editor appeared in yesterday's Boston Globe:
I am a first grade teacher in Norwood.
In September, I received a package at
school filled with children's books,
stationery, stickers, classroom decorations,
pencils, and candy. Inside was a note from
someone identifying herself only as
"a friend", encouraging me to stay positive.
The author fondly recalled her own years
of teaching and her love of children.
As the months passed, I continued to
receive packages at school--at Halloween,
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter. After
each delivery, I discussed the beauty of
our gifts with my students. I was able to
convey the value of giving without expecting
anything in return.
About a week ago, the school secretary called
down to my room and reported that another
package had been delivered.
I ran to the front of the school and followed my
mystery angel, a woman unfamiliar to me, to her
car. "Who are you?" she asked as I asked her the
"I won't tell you my name," she told me, "but I will
tell you that I never wanted you to see me. Some-
one in your school told me that you were new
here, and I wanted you to feel encouraged and
She said she felt that educators often don't
receive the support and love they need to carry
out their jobs.
After embracing me and wishing me well, my
"friend" drove off, leaving many of my questions
Although I never learned her name, I did learn
a lifetime of lessons from her this year.
A simple act. A huge act.
It's pretty easy to be a Mystery Angel. You just have to do something nice and not get caught doing it.
And most of the time you end up feeling terrific, not to mention the effect on the receiver of your kindness.
Today I offer you a CHALLENGE: sometime during the next three days--from now until Tuesday or Wednesday of the week--find a way to be a MYSTERY ANGEL.
Do something nice and don't get caught.
Then feel good about it.
Then tell me. And I will reward you with a prize. It might be a poem written especially for you, or something else--you never know....
Be a MYSTERY ANGEL this week. Just one time. Do something that heals and helps.
I ask this of you because I think acts like this make a difference in the world far beyond our assumptions.