ALL ABOUT LIFE BEYOND KINDERGARTEN! Kindergarten is the basic building block for all future learning. It is true that everything you need to know in life was really learned in Kindergarten. The trick is to remember what you learned when you were five or six. What you liked then will most likely be something you will like now. So be true to yourself and who you really are and who you will really be. Look back and you just may find your true self! Yes…this blog is about a variety of topics…because we are all a smorgasbord of thoughts and ideas.
Last year was constantly serious to me. Politics. World Diplomacy. Economics. Education. Terrorism. Hunger. Climate. Animal Rights. Immigration. Isolation. Fear. Threats. Bi-Partisan Absence. Harassment. Distrust. Argue. More Arguments. The Most Arguments.
Important issues bombard us each day. It is sometimes difficult to leave for our daily responsibilities without a heavy heart. Without a new worry. Without a sudden need to talk back to someone about anything. I believe that this negative response to disagreement is leading us down the wrong turn in the road.
When did our innate happiness disappear? Or did it? I have always thought that a cheerful continence is the route to cohesion. Am I the only one who feels this way? Surely not.
When I read the WordPress Daily topic yesterday, I was intrigued. WINSOME? Maybe we need a dose of that kind of medicine. The word “winsome” brings thoughts of pleasing behavior, charm, kindness, honesty and a general feeling of cheer. The idea sounds so childlike. Right? I am not trying to be a “Pollyanna”, but I have seen some mighty childlike behavior from politicians from both sides of the aisle.
Therefore…I suggest some lighthearted moments. Just here and there. We realize how serious the world agenda appears to be. Constant bickering is not the total way to solve the problems. Personally, I am tired of the instant anger.
Let’s start with the basic way to change your immediate atmosphere and attitude. Quit going around with a frown on your face. Quit wearing dark and uninspiring colors. Brighten your immediate world. Lighten your immediate world. I know…just a tiny start. Find your inner “winsome” self…
Find your winsome self. Smile. Agree. Agree to disagree. Compromise. Just try to get along with someone with a cheerful demeanor. We can’t always be serious. At least…we can dress with winsome!
As I have written before, we lost our son in a very sad car accident in October, 2004. To say that it was totally heartbreaking is an underestimate. I knew that we needed to get back to our regular routine as soon as possible. So…we found our strength and found our way back to our familiar life. We focused on our careers, our friends and our daughter who was then a college student.
Crowfoot, a chief of the Siksika First Nation.
I loved teaching school and found incredible joy in getting to know the children and their families. I knew that I would feel much better when I saw those smiling children. And I did! My elementary school at the time was like a “windows on the world”…so many cultures and so many languages. There were many Vietnamese families in the area surrounding the school…wonderful families with a clear focus on giving their children the chance for a bright future through education. The year that we lost our son was my first year to teach third grade… after teaching Kindergarten for several years.
Fireflies streaking through a gorge near the foothills.
Little did I realize how a child in my Third Grade class would give me the hope that comes from understanding the meaning of loss. One of my students had moved from Vietnam just three short weeks before school started. She only knew a few words of English… “hello, goodbye, friend, thank you”. Eager to learn and always kind, she smiled continuously and listened to every word that was uttered in class. She was paired with two older students for thirty minutes or so a day for English tutoring. I learned that peer assistance in any language development is the real key.
Walking among the fireflies.
By Christmas, the young child was virtually fluent in English…a miracle to me and a testament to her work ethic. On the state test in the Spring, her score on the reading part was one of the highest of all the students. During that time, she started reading many types of poetry and enjoyed looking up special topics in the library.
A garden of fireflies.
One sunny Spring day, she quietly placed a paper on my desk during morning announcements. It was a poem that she evidently found in the library. She had added an illustration with her handwriting. As she walked away from my desk, she said…
“Mrs. Davis, I know that you must be still sad about your son. I think that these words will help you!”
To the very smart and very perceptive little girl from Vietnam…now a grown up young woman…”The words you found are still giving me happiness and peace today. Thank you!”
The paper that my young student from Vietnam gave me that sunny Spring day…