Monday, January 31, 2011

Less is More

Another lesson from my kindergartners...

For awhile I was obsessive compulsive about the pencils in our classroom. Every day at the end of the day I would sharpen them and make sure everyone had a nice eraser. I figured if I did this the kids would have less to complain about. Boy was I wrong.

First it was the erasers. Everyone wanted a specific color. "I WANT PINK!!" "BUT I WANT PINK TOO!" I heard all day...about all different colors. If it wasn't the colors, then it was fighting over the sharpest pencils. Finally, after a few weeks of this drama, I gave up on the pencils and stopped sharping and putting on nice erasers.

A surprising thing happened. My kids stopped fighting. They just accepted the awful pencils I left them. If they needed to erase, they would ask someone who had a tiny bit of eraser left and they'd willingly let them borrow it. I thought for sure more contention would arise from my lack of diligence with the pencils, but instead, they were calm. They had less to fight about.

This incident made me think of another one that happened with my cousin when he was very young. His family at the time was extremely poor. Christmas rolled around and there was one little package under the tree for little Michael. When he excitedly ripped open the paper, he found what any normal kid (and some adults) would deem disappointing: socks. Yet, Michael was ECSTATIC. He ran around showing everyone excitedly his socks and was nothing but thrilled.

This is why I have come to the conclusion that less, is really more. The more we have, the more we can find to complain about. My cell phone is giving me problems. My new house doesn't have nice enough carpet. My job is boring. However, it seems like those who have less have learned to be happy with what they have, because they are so excited to have something!

I know I'm guilty of complaining about my blessings. We probably all have our moments. But in those times we start to wish we had more, or better, think of those who have none, and remember, less is more.

1 comment:

  1. It's so true! I'm trying to rid my house of extra stuff because I get tired of moving it, cleaning it, organizing it, etc. I find I really don't miss anything I've gotten rid of!