October 23, 2018, started off as just like any other ordinary day. As usual, James hobbled entered the classroom and saw the kids. But the children stood before him in perfect unison, saying nothing, and suddenly began to point at something on the wall. They all said the same thing: "Happy birthday, James! We love you forever!"
This friendly deaf-mute man, James, held his head and was pleasantly surprised: It turned out to be his 60th birthday, and this lovely group of children, considering he couldn't hear, especially learned sign language to bless him. He then burst into tears. This moment, because of the warmth of a group of children, was particularly heart-warming.
He used sign language to express his feelings: "I was in shock, I was very very moved.”
Fifteen years ago, James, a forest ranger, was hit by a once-in-a-century forest fire. He had plenty of time to escape, but he rushed into the fire again to save a trapped rabbit. This act of kindness cost him dearly. He was about to escape the fire and reach the edge of safety when he was hit in the head by a cracked tree trunk.
When he woke up, his brain was damaged, he was deaf and his legs were nearly paralyzed. He lost his job and was ridiculed at times: when is the time to take care of animals? But James said: "I don't regret my decision."
After being released from the hospital, James was shocked to find that there was no place willing to hire him. In addition to Hickerson's kindergarten, the kind principal was willing to offer him a janitor's job for a simple reason: "A man who can't even bear to abandon a small animal in crisis will certainly take great care of children in a kindergarten."
As it turned out, the director was absolutely right. James is an extremely grateful person. When he saw children's shoelaces untangled, he would patiently tie them like a father. Every day after school, he would wave hands to say goodbye and hug each child. "I am pretty important here” he feels.
So on the eve of James' 60th birthday, the teacher and the children decided to give James a special gift: The sign language version of happy birthday. For this reason, children who have never been exposed to sign language use their spare time to practice. In the eyes of earnest study, they are deeply fond of James.
On his birthday, the 60-year-old man could no longer contain his emotions. "This is the best birthday present I've ever received." says James. But the surprises are far from over. Students who had graduated from this kindergarten came from hearing the news and gave their well-choreographed blessing dance.
There was even a student who’d graduated from this kindergarten 15 years ago and came from the university campus thousands of kilometers away to wish James a happy birthday in person. On the evening of his birthday, Hickerson kindergarten posted this heartwarming video on facebook.
In just two days, more than 1.28 million people had watched it, and even world-famous media, such as the BBC and ABC, rushed to report it. Many netizens sent their blessing to him. Sometimes life can be hard, hard enough to make you think society is cruel. But be sure to stay true to who you are and what you believe in, always, for life is an echo of what you give it and what it will return.
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