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Youth Messenger Online Edition


A “School Days” Experience
Nikita Espinal

Even a child can have a positive influence through a courageous, Christlike attitude.

There are many stories about Ellen G. White’s childhood school days. Here is one. In those days at her school, they had long desks that two or three students would share. One day the girl that was sitting next to Ellen got the teacher angry. Without thinking, the teacher grabbed a ruler lying near by and hurled it at her. But instead of hitting his target, he accidentally aimed it at Ellen and the ruler hit her instead, giving her a deep cut. What can we learn from the way she ended up responding? Here is how she tells the story:

“I have sat in school with a pupil sitting by my side, when the master sent a ruler to hit that student upon the head, but it hit me, and gave me a wonderful wound. I rose from my seat and left the room. When I left the schoolhouse and was on the way home, he ran after me and said, ‘Ellen, I made a mistake; won’t you forgive me?’

“Said I, ‘Certainly I will, but where is the mistake?’

“‘I did not mean to hit you.’

“‘But,’ said I, ‘it is a mistake that you should hit anybody. I would just as soon have this gash in my forehead as to have another injured.’”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, p. 57.