In a school at the edge of a town was a teacher who was much loved by his pupils.
The teacher took care all the time of all pupils trying to teach them as many things as possible. But one day the children noticed that one of their colleagues was tealing and they immediately denounced him to the teacher. But he didn`t punish him. After a few days the thief stole again but he was caught immediately. When this thing repeated the third time some of the boys went to the teacher to complain and told him:
`This colleague of ours steals all the time. It is not good what`s happening and we kindly ask you to expel him from school, otherwise we go.
`I won`t expel him. If you want, you can leave, but he remains.
`But teacher how is it possible to renounce at all of us who always listened to you?`
Looking at them kindly, the teacher explained to his pupils who were so puzzled by this situation:
`You already know what is good and what is wrong. If you go in the world you surely know how to behave. But if he goes away from us what will he do?
Why didn`t you asked yourself about this. Why did you think only about yourselves? You think that if I expel him, he will be any better?
If here among us he doesn`t know how is right to behave, what will he do in the world?
So no matter if you leave or stay he will continue to stay here and I will take care to make him change and become a good man. And when he wants this thing surely that from a thief who is avoided by his mates, he will become a child appreciated and loved by those around him.
When he found out what had happened, the boy who had stolen until then and had caused trouble to those around him was impressed by the teacher`s kindness and promised he would give up on stealing. And he kept his promise because as the teacher had said, this time he was the one who wanted from all his soul to be good.
“Forgive each other as God forgave you all in Christ! (Holy Scripture)
Excerpt from The Most Beautiful Orthodox Parables and Tales– Leon Magdan, Aramis Publishing – Romanian Patriarchy, 1998.