Thursday, March 14, 2013

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

Last week we celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday as part of our school Literacy Week. We had a bunch of fun activities including our fifth graders performing a great play of Horton Hatches an Egg. I read a Dr. Seuss book to my class each day and read them my favorite biography about him The Boy on Fairfield Street by Kathleen Krull. One of the books I read to them was "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?"

I love how Dr. Seuss is able to imbed life lessons into fun and engaging stories that don't feel like they are teaching you a lesson. Recognizing our blessings is so important, something that I am constantly trying to teach my children and improve in myself. So I loved reading this:

“When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad...
you should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you're really quite lucky!
Some people are much more...
oh, ever so much more...
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!”

The story shows kids in France whose pants get eaten by pants eating plants and a bee watcher who has to be watched by a bee watcher watcher who is watched by a bee watcher watcher watcher and on an on. Each scenario is silly and not realistic, but the lesson is taught by a man sitting on a cactus, a rather unpleasant experience of course. And it is good to stop from time to time and remember that we really are so very lucky! I can remember reading a couple of years ago that if you have flooring (of any kind...not dirt) and glass in your windows then you are luckier/wealthier than something like 75% of the world's population. (That might not be the right percentage, but it was a startling number.) There are so many things we take for granted that others don't have...free education, indoor plumbing, clean water, libraries, internet access, sufficient food to eat (and actually more than enough...and a wide variety of foods), and probably a million other blessings that don't usually cross our minds. I am really quite lucky!! Thank you for reminding me, Dr. Seuss!