Yesterday was a special day of teaching for me, and it was all about caring. I cared for my students in the sense that I was observant in my teaching in order to, above all, do no damage. We say we should hold a crystal bowl with care, and that is precisely the way I approached my teaching yesterday. I had 38 crystal bowls entrusted to my safekeeping, and I tried my best to treat them with consideration and understanding. I also tried to treat them with attentiveness, the way a painter might care for the window frames and sashes he is painting. He would paint with the finest care because he wants to bring out the beauty of the windows, and yesterday I taught with the same kind of care and for the same kind of reason. Like all of us, my students are people of remarkable inner beauty, and my job is to bring that beauty out through good-natured but vigorous persuasion. I used this kind of coaxing yesterday in dealing with unforeseen situations, just as physicians and nurses give emergency care when it is needed. I usually don't have dire physical emergencies in my room, but yesterday, as always, there were small, concealed crises of the interior kind -- a student's fear of being called on, for instance -- and I was ready to give faithful care to the kids when these situations arose. Often it just takes a warmhearted word from me to disperse the fears a student might be feeling. The emergency room doctor dispenses medicine, whereas yesterday, I simply dispensed kindness.
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