From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

January 10

I helped develop a course to increase the chances of student success in college by building a sense of community within the class. It worked, to varying degrees, until the class from hell that felt it was a waste of time. So I instructed everyone to answer this question on an index card: “If there were one thing in your life you could change, what would it be?”

I collected the cards, shuffled them and handed them out. I then randomly selected students to read the card they held.

One student read: “I wish that my husband’s back was better so he could return to work. We have no money.”

“I wish my mother didn’t have breast cancer,” read another. And so on. And so on.

There were tears streaming down the faces of nearly everyone in the class. Without my having to say so, they realized they had far more in common than they had thought. Each of them had problems in their lives. They could relate.

From that point on, the class changed. They worked together. They formed study groups for other classes. They also had another reason to go to college—their friends were there.

Donald Arney

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