Hello Ginger Gent fans, long time no post. Grade 2 is rapidly reaching a close and I have to say it has been one heck of an academic year. When The Gent came home after the first day of school, having spent it with his new teacher who is actually a supply that stayed on for the rest of the year, I was anxious to hear his review. To my absolute delight he told me a story about a bucket. His teacher Mrs. K  explained to them that everyone has a metaphorical bucket. That   in it is a set amount of marbles and when something happens to you to make you sad or mad  you lose your marbles. That didn’t sound right but you know what I mean. The catch is, the person that made you feel mad or sad also loses their marbles. However as the natural balance of things also dictates when someone makes you proud or happy you gain marbles and the person responsible also does.

I was astounded by the simple brilliance of this lesson in compassion and taking responsibility for your actions. I was sure that this was the right teacher for Ben and boy was I right. After a very difficult year he has found a teacher that gets him, that spends one on one time with him and as a result helped him catch up to his peers in many areas. Thank God for good teachers, I will say it again thank God for good teachers. In this crazy time with Ford trying to muck up everything he touches I can only hope that Ben will, despite the barriers that educators face at this time he will find another teacher that will find a way to make a difference in his life.

While I was at the library I was reminded about this invaluable lessons when I saw this book. “How Full is Your Bucket (For Kids)” by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer, based on a book of the same title by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton. I have not read the original but ever since becoming a parent I have found there is such practical value in very simple analogies. So I think whatever age you are this picture book has immense value.  In this book the character Felix empties a little bit of his sisters bucket and then experiences firsthand what it’s like to have someone empty his.  This was the resulting experience.

And there you have it.  This is the cycle of negativity, it itself has repercussions.  It doesn’t matter who you are, or how old you are or how much authority you have. The price of compassion as well as  cruelty applies to everyone. It cuts or rather splashes both ways in this case.  My question to reflect on this, is why? Why does it apply across the board?

Simply put because we are all the same, we all have the same emotions, the same fears and insecurities the same hopes and dreams. We cannot to get away from the indisputable fact and natural law that was gleaned from Einstein’s prodgious brain, every action has a reaction.  And so if you want to have a discussion about empathy I would say this is probably about the perfect picture book for any child. I want to teach my child to be compassionate, mindful and caring. To quote a genius of another sort I will leave you the words of Robin Williams.

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

You are responsible for the way you make other people feel, whether that is good or bad. Make the best choice for both of you and fill someone’s bucket today.  Because losing your marbles sucks!

About the Author

Kelly Wilk is a freelance writer and single mom to a seven-year-old, red-headed, Irish, Aries boy who is growing up way too fast. Follow them on PinkPlayMags' parenting blog "The Ginger Gent" (www.pinkplaymags.com). Also, find Kelly on her own website and blog, Brave. Creative. Me at www.kellywilk.ca.