Saturday, March 15, 2014

Third Graders Taught Me About Lent

     This year, I approached the season of Lent sort of casually, which obviously isn't the right attitude. I decided to give up Facebook even though that's what I did last year, because I didn't think of anything else right away and I didn't feel like putting more thought into it. I kept up with this attitude for a while, not really thinking about it, until 2 days ago when an unexpected source showed me that I needed to fix my attitude about this holy season.
     On Thursday, I was at the elementary school hanging out, which is something that I've found to be quite fun. Since I'm thinking about being a teacher at the elementary level, it's cool to have a way to see what it's like firsthand. Anyway, at one point the class did an activity where they could get candy if they got all the answers right. Now I remember some things about elementary school, and I know that the chance to get candy was always exciting. So when one little boy raised his hand and said "What about me?" I thought he must be double checking to be completely certain that he would indeed be included in this reward. I had it all wrong. He had given up candy for Lent. Here I was, giving up one small thing, the same thing as last year, feeling all proud of myself, and this child less than half my age immediately, without knowing it, put me in my place.
     You see, he was committed to his sacrifice, and didn't feel ashamed to make that known in front of his peers. He didn't brag about it, or whine about the fact that Lent is just so hard like I would have done. He simply accepted his commitment and asked what he could do to work around it. As if, I wasn't already impressed, I soon found out that he wasn't the only one who had given up candy. These children had made this decision outside of school and kept with it even when they were away from their parents and around their peers.
     So now that I have expanded my Lent sacrifice to all social media (with the exception of this blog), whenever I have a picture that would be perfect to put on Instagram, or a story from my life I wish I could tell all my Facebook friends about, I will remember these children and the example the gave me. Who knew that someone with a high school diploma would learn so much from a day in the third grade.

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