Monday, May 16, 2016

Life Lessons For Graduates : Words of Wisdom From Children Books

It's May and just around the corner is graduation season.   Soon the invitations will be coming in to celebrate a high school or college graduation.  It's a tremendous accomplishment which took years of sacrifice and hard work.  The promises of what is to come is  fresh and exciting.  Of course, it is the duty of those who have gone before the young, bright eyed graduates to pass on powerful life lessons, wisdom and advice.  As the years have gone by, some more quickly than others, one thing remains the same.  No matter which books have been read the past year,  the books for the best advice often come from children's books.  Yes, it's true.  Remember the saying, "All I ever needed to know I learned in Kindergarten?"  Well,  the books read  in Kindergarten had gems of truth hidden in them.  It is not until one gets older that it is appreciated.    With that in mind, here  are twelve unforgettable life lessons from childhood story times that will help in giving out sage advice, all the while generating a smile or two.

Curious George, the lovable mischief making monkey,  is a good reminder to  young graduates that in every situation the they find themselves  in,  always  learn a little, laugh a little, and by golly don't ever lose your sense of wonder and curiosity.    This is the key to never growing old.

Max, the sweet lovable boy from Where The Wild Things Are, teaches another valuable lesson.  Monsters really are not scary.  No, sir!  They just want someone to love.  When faced with the monsters in life, embrace them, entertain them and educate them.  Most importantly, know when it's time to make your exit to find your way home.   That is the key to being a leader.

The Giving Tree's main characters are the boy and the tree.    It is the best story of unconditional love.  For graduates, this is a gentle reminder to treasure those who have always been true to you and gave freely of themselves without once asking anything in return.  That is life's rarest gift.  If one is lucky to have someone like that in their life they are blessed.  The key to becoming a better person is to try to be the "rare" gift for someone else.

Harold has always been the go to character when needing to unleash creative energy.  Harold and His Purple Crayon reminds each creative soul that in life it's okay to go a little crazy with a crayon and let your imagination carry you the rest of the way.  Never leave home with a crayon.  On crazy days you will be glad you didn't.  This is the key to unlocking your inner creativity.

Green Eggs and Ham is symbolic of a dish  that should not to be passed over.  Even if something sounds or looks absolutely disgusting, there's no harm in trying it out at least once.  Sam I Am demonstrates the timely lesson of stubbornness getting in the way of discovering something good.  One has to be willing to be a little flexible in order to find the good things that make life a little better. They key to finding something better is to try new things.

Alexander, the little boy who just is having one terrible, horrible, very bad day,  is a gentle reminder that on days when nothing seems to go right, the best thing to do is ride it out.  The lesson from here is that terrible, horrible, bad days don't last forever.  When they do come along,  find the humor in it.  It's the only way to make a day, terrific, hilarious, very good day.  The key is that it's all about perspective.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a top favorite book about friendship and being there when a friend needs you most.  Everyone has a busy life filled with chores, family and work and it won't be any different for the graduate as they move on in life.  However,  make the time and effort to visit a friend who is sick or in need.   The key to life here,  time slips away quickly, treasure each moment spent wisely with a friend in need.

The Little Engine That Could is classic and yet, it always has to be revisited. Especially when feeling overwhelmed or having zip for confidence.    When looking uphill at a tremendous task keep repeating "I think I can.  I think I can."  Sooner rather than later the  mantra will changes to "I did it. I did it".   The Little Engine was not mighty in strength, but mighty in thought.  The key is to always believe in yourself.

The True Story of The Three Little Pigs as told by A. Wolf is an unforgettable tale of the three little pigs like it has never been told before.  Two life lessons to be gleaned here.  Always tell a story in your own unique style.  It is the best way to express yourself and to have people understand you.  Secondly yet perhaps more important,  there is always more than one side to a story.  The Key to life is to he willing to learn the other side in order to find the  "truth".  

The Library Lion can't go unmentioned.  The lesson here is rich in irony.  Libraries are symbols of order, quiet spaces, and learning.  Librarians sometimes stick to rigidly to such rules and images.   However,   There will always be places and spaces in life that create and require order, rules and rational thinking.  One would think that in a lovely place like a library there is no room for a lion or something out of the ordinary.  Not so.  Sometimes, rules need to be bended a little to sustain the order, rules and stability we crave.

My Friend Rabbit is a sweet reminder that everyone needs a friend who invites a little trouble in the daily routine of life.  No use in getting upset with these folks for trying to help in their own special way.   Instead,  join the fun and the ride.  The key here is to remember that friends can let friends be silly.

Last but certainly not least is Miss Rumphius.  If changing the world seems to be an impossibly big task, it's time to remember to do what we can.  Miss Rumphius' view of how wonderful her own world is and what she can do to make it better is a simplistic reminder that changing the world begins in your own backyard.  The key to life is to change what you can and let go of things you can't change.

Twelve indisputable truth of life that can be found in classic children's tales.  The best part of these stories besides the fact that they contain gems of truth,  is that why can be re-read at anytime regardless of age.  If feeling a little silly reading a children's book alone, find a little friend and read to them.  It's never too early to share life's lessons to children.