I’m going to sing, play, and be happy to be alive, so my blog is going to take a vacation for a week. I’ll be back with lots of fantastic ideas you can use to start the New Year on December 26.
My daughter, Holly, sent this email several weeks ago, and I thought it might be a meaningful reminder to all of us this holiday season. My wish for each of you is that every day for a few moments you can forget about the gifts, bills, cooking, and shopping and find time to sing, play, and be happy to be alive!
Wishing love, joy, peace, and hope to all of you! Dr. Jean
Tonight KJ and I did his last week's homework together. He had to read a story and answer some questions about it, trying to get to the theme or main idea, which I'm totally in favor of since my college students struggle with this skill. However, the story was the old fable about the grasshopper and the ant, retold. On the back, the worksheet tells parents that the theme of the story is "Be sure to work hard and save up for bad times." Okay. No problem. But in the story the ant works all summer: "She did not have time to sing and play." And what about the grasshopper? "He was happy to be alive and spent every day doing all of the things he wanted to do... He sang his grasshopper songs and played in the summer rain..." What a beautiful thing! Shouldn't we all try to be a bit happier to be alive? Shouldn't we sing and play more often? We work way too hard in this country, mostly to buy more stuff that we don't need anyway. As KJ and I were reading this story together, it struck me that our country is way too much like the ant--the ant on overdrive! We've worked and accumulated so much stuff that we don't have any time to play. And the poor grasshopper--the ant doesn't even share any of her food with him! How mean! Is that the kind of message I want to give KJ, that he shouldn't bother to help people who need help? That it's probably their fault anyway? So after he told me the "theme"--which he could do without blinking--we talked about how sad the story made me because I really like the grasshopper and I think we should all be happy to be alive, and I think we should help people when they need it. He said, "Yea--if the ant went to Disney World she probably wouldn't even go on any rides. She'd just be running around trying to find seeds and stuff and she'd get stepped on because there are way too many people at Disney World." And I thought that was pretty funny! So here's to being a little bit more like grasshoppers (especially in elementary school)!