MAXIMize the Moment Junior Volume 2, Issue 29
I'm tired of having to do chores and having test after test at school. I'm tired of the news being on all the time. I know that there's a war going onl, but I'd like to watch something else for a change. My brother refuses to change the channel, so I'm stuck watching yet another news program.
But this one's sort of interesting. It's about girls in Afghanistan and how thankful they are to be going to school. Why would anyone be thankful to have to go to school? Then I realize that they don't see it that way. For them, it's getting to go to school.
What I see as a burden, they recognize as a gift.
I think again about my recent complaints. I have to clean the house-but only because I have a nice, comfortable home to live in. I have to share with my brother because he is home-while thousands of other sisters miss their brothers who are off at war.
It reminds me of what my great-grandfather said when I was complaining about having to babysit to earn money. He told me about the Depression and what it felt like to not be able to work, even if you wanted to. Then he shared with me a proverb: "I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet…"
My great-grandpa was right. When I take the time to look at the larger world, I am incredibly lucky. I need to remember that many people would be delighted to have a life like mine. Out of respect for them, I should cherish it and take the time to be grateful.
This week's maxim is "I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet…"
- "I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet…"
- Appreciation- I see the gifts in my life and take the time to say, "Thanks."
- Gratitude- I know that I have a lot a to be thankful for and I am.
- Thankfulness- I am aware of my blessings; I am happy because do not take things for granted.
- Perspective- I am able to see the "big picture"; I remember what really matters.
- Joy- I take the time to notice the good things in my life that bring me happiness.
Homeroom Discussion Information
- List ten things you are thankful for. Which five are most important to you? Why?
- What does it mean to be a "grateful" person?
- Why is it important to be grateful?
- What sorts of things cause you to pause and be grateful?
- How can you learn to be grateful everyday, not just on holidays or when bad things happen?
- At the beginning of the story, the narrator is frustrated and upset. Does that mean she is not grateful? Why or why not?
- How does a grateful person deal with hard times and frustrations?
- Does a grateful act differently than someone who takes things for granted? Explain how.
- How is helping others related to feeling grateful?
Five tips for maxim-izing your family time
- If possible, work through this MAXIMize with your extended family. Words of praise and love are too good not to share with aunts, uncles, and grandparents!
- Use this discussion time as an opportunity to let your kids know how much you love them. Also, tell them some specific things about them that you love.
- If your kids have trouble telling you back, try not to be too disheartened. These feelings can be hard to put into words.
- If some members of your family are struggling to put their thoughts into words, have them write it out or even color a picture about it.
- Use this as an opportunity to institute "What I'm Grateful For Today" as part of your daily dinner conversation. This means that, at the beginning of dinner, you go around in a circle and each person, without interruption, to say three things that he/she is grateful for today. This game is a great opportunity to get everyone talking and to put a positive spin on the events of the day.
- What are three things that you are thankful for today?
- What are five things about this family that you are thankful for?
- Say at least two things that you are thankful for about each member of this family.
- How can gratitude help us to gets through tough times in life and challenges we, as a family, face?
- What can we, as a family, do to help each other be better about saying thanks?
- When we are thankful for the good things in our lives, we become more sensitive to the needs of others. What can we do as a family to help those who are less fortunate?
- How could we, as a family, use our time and talents to help others?
- What is one thing that each of us could do to help others? (Encourage each family member to answer something uniquely suited to his/her gifts and interests). How can we go about making that happen?
Be sure to acknowledge the courage your children show in talking with you about these issues.
- Art Activities and Lesson Exploring Gratitude
- Idealist.org: Volunteer Database
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