You Must Watch This

This is not the first time I’ve posted this, and by most of today’s online standards, it’s an extra-long documentary that you might be tempted to pass by, ‘Children Full of Life.‘ Most of us can’t sit still to watch a clip that’s over two minutes (I’m totally guilty of dismissing anything over that 2:30 mark), but bookmark this one for when you have the time, because it’s worth it. In fact, if you want to know what made me cry last, check out the little boy who remembers his grandmother right after the 7:00 mark, or the girl who recalls being bullied at 16:00, and the defense of a friend a little after 20:20, and the tear-jerking happy ending at 25:45. I can’t even talk about what happens at 28:45…

“If one person is unhappy… everybody will be unhappy.”

Yet for all the tears, this is one of those documentaries that, having seen it, fortifies the heart, and helps it to heal. It gives you just enough of a glimpse of hope to want to keep this sometimes-wretched planet from expiring. It’s also a moving ode to the incalculable value of good teachers.

Mr. Kanamori, a teacher of a 4th grade class, teaches his students not only how to be students, but how to live. He gives them lessons on teamwork, community, the importance of openness, how to cope, and the harm caused by bullying.

In the award-winning documentary Children Full of Life, a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo, learn lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori.

He instructs each to write their true inner feelings in a letter, and read it aloud in front of the class. By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for their classmates.

Toshiro is an amazing example of what all teachers across the world should be like. He truly understands what teaching children is all about and certainly made a positive difference in the lives of these 10 year olds.

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