Payment

‘How would you like to be paid for any work you do in the future’, the philosophy professor asked his students as the lesson began. Money was the resounding answer from the class; money echoed from every corner of the room, it almost tinkled like small change, with the eagerness of the response. Laughter rang out along with comments of ‘lots of it’ and ‘mountains of the stuff’ from a few of the bolder and yet more honest students. ‘Why sir’, asked one of the young men at the back of the class, ‘isn’t that how everyone is paid for their work, are there any other options’

The professor looked at his class and smiled, he held this talk every year and it always started the same. A few moments passed as he scanned the room, these kids were a good bunch, the majority of them would grow up to be decent human beings. On a daily basis since the start of term, he had witnessed them helping each other, encouraging, sharing of themselves and leaving their mark. Yes, he thought to himself as he looked at them, they were a very good class indeed.

He stood, smiling slightly, at the front of the class, his students waiting for the answer that would start today’s lesson. ‘My hope is that I am thought of with kindness, valued for my work and respected for who I am’ he began ‘I love to teach and inspire people and the payback for me is to see my students achieve and to know I have had a part in that, this is what makes each and every day worthwhile’. He paused for a moment, the room was silent ‘There are many forms of payment’ he went on ‘but one thing has become abundantly clear to me, money is by far the least significant.’

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