Monday, October 22, 2012

Thankful for Oranges

My grandson started kindergarten this year. He called me the other day to tell me he received two oranges at school. He spoke so fast, I could barely understand him. Why would a five year old be excited about oranges, especially a five year old that doesn’t even like oranges? I assumed it was the thrill of having received something and began to consider my own attitude of thankfulness. Am I excited and thankful for the things I receive every day, or do I have expectations that cause me to discount the blessings in life?
It’s eye opening to discover the things we can learn from children. They are thankful for simple things. For example, one Christmas when my daughter was four years old, she colored a picture from her coloring book and wrapped it as a present for her two and a half year old brother. When he opened the present, she began showing him how she colored each detail. I was amazed at his sincere response, “Thank you, Katie”. She made it for him, and he was thankful.
Children are easily molded and follow our example. We can teach them to be thankful with words, but the results of what they learn will be based on what we show them with our actions. What they see will be what they learn.
Remember a five year old so thankful for two oranges that he called his grandma to tell her about it. Of course, I later learned that the behavior system for kindergarten at my grandson’s school has changed. It’s no longer green for good behavior, yellow for a warning, and red for uh-oh, I’m in trouble. A rainbow of colors ranging from red (which is now the best) to orange to yellow and several other colors now reflects behavior. I think there might even be a purple with green polka dots somewhere in the rainbow. Five year olds must be smarter these days in order to understand this system. My grandson sure expressed excitement about his oranges, and I gained a lesson in thankfulness.
Have you received any oranges this week that you don’t like? Remember to be thankful for what you receive. Unlike kindergarten, you can always bless someone else by passing your oranges to them. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive.

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