Mick Haining's Letter

Dear Donna, an ex-pupil,

I taught you once, a long time ago. You're probably married now with children of your own. You may even have grandchildren. I taught you Maths. You said to me once, in despair, that you were never going to use this when you leave school, as you struggled with algebra. I knew you were right but still I pretended that it was a good thing to spend your time on. I probably wasn't the only teacher convincing themselves that the 15,000 hours kids spend in schools as they were then [and perhaps still are] were a good use of their time.
I wish I had taught you that you don't need always to believe what you are told by people in authority over you. I wish I had taught you that you don't need to DO what such people told you to do. I wish I had taught you that life is not Maths where one plus one always equals two. I wish I had helped you understand that the best thing in the world is not a job with good money, but love. Maybe you have found that out for yourself by now - I certainly hope so.
If you do have children or even grandchildren, love them with all your heart. Their futures seem so much less promising than yours or mine would have been back then. But we all have to live until the inevitable end so, in between, we have to fill that time with as much love as we can generate so that, even in the darkest times, we can still feel gratitude for a smile, a stroke, a hug, a kiss.
"And even the unhappiest life has its sunny moments and its little flowers of happiness between sand and stone". [Hermann Hesse]
The very best of wishes,
Mr Haining

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