never stops teaching.
Journaling for awareness. Growing for life.
A few years ago we were introduced to the book “How Full Is Your Bucket?” By Tom Rath. It’s the story of a boy named Felix discovering that a person’s actions affect others using the metaphor of a bucket. When someone is kind to another, it puts a drop in his or her bucket. When they are unkind, it dips into the bucket. I loved this idea, and we have been using “bucket” language in our house ever since. Recently I decided to bring the bucket discussion to life so it didn’t remain just a loose concept. I put out actual buckets for the kids to fill. And now, throughout the week, we write down moments when someone put a drop in our bucket, or we drop a note in the bucket of someone who could maybe use an extra smile. When starting this, my hope was that the ritual would help them really see how they affect those around them. I wanted to encourage conversation about how we can feel happy for others and what they are experiencing, how we should recognize good deeds and say thank you, occasionally apologize for a bucket dipping moment, and together realize that when we do something for someone else, it actually feels so good that it fills our own bucket! This has been a great celebration of our relationships. And while I started the activity for the kids, I’m sure you can guess that it’s only made my own “bucket” overflow! It’s fantastic to sit around the table after dinner on a Friday and hear Keegan say, “I was sad when I saw two of my friends leave school together for a play date. But then when I got home, Brennan told me that he’s missed me while I was school and invited me to play spaceman. That filled my bucket!” When Brennan heard this, he looked like his bucket had just filled too! Brennan is only three, but I got the feeling that he was catching on to the concept when he said, “I’m happy for Adeline today because she sparkles.” A moment like that can make a whole day sparkle!
Happy bucket filling!