"Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another."
- Marva Collins
As a mother, I try and use everyday situations with my children as learning opportunities whenever they arise.
"I'm starving!", they will say.
"No, actually, you are not", is the lesson here.
You are hungry, but you are not starving. This is an opportunity to talk to them about what it really means to be starving. This opens up a chance to discuss children just like them who actually don't have enough food to get the nutrition they need to grow and to thrive.
"My legs are tired!, they will say.
Yes, I am sure they are. So are mine.
But we HAVE legs. Some people are not so lucky. Some people are born without legs. Some people have diseases, disabilities or have had accidents that have rendered their legs unable to walk. To run. To jump.
"I'm freezing!, they will say.
Well, you are probably cold...let me get you a sweater and turn up the heat.
Some people don't have cozy sweaters or a roof over their head. They are freezing. Some don't have the loving arms of a Mommy or a Daddy or a loved one to put around them to warm them up.
Of course, these are only a few examples of many I could mention.
And guess what?
Where are our children learning these phrases? When is the last time you have said you are starving, that your legs are tired or that you are freezing?
I think I said all three in the past few days.
And I am trying to catch myself.
I complain that my baby is crying, and yet he is healthy.
I talk about being tired all the time but know that in the grand scheme of things, I really don't know what the true meaning of tired is.
I bitch about having a bad hair day when some are losing theirs in clumps because of chemotherapy.
Do ya see where I am going with this?
I know everything is relative. I know we all have bad days are that we are all allowed to vent. If you read this blog regularly, you know that I do on occasion.
But words are powerful.
Words are opportunities to learn and to teach.
There are thousands of little lessons to be taught and to be learned every day.
We just need to pay attention.
We just need to be present.
We just need to take everything as an opportunity to open up the lines of communication with the people in our lives...our children...our friends...ourselves...so that we gain more perspective of just how lucky we are.
Lucky for what we have instead of unlucky for what we don't.
Because we all have many things to be grateful for.
And that is a lesson we need to learn over and over again.
Every single day.