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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Learning To Think

Over the years, since my own children were small, I have been amazed at the genius of the writers/creators of PBS's Sesame Street. Through the magic of puppetry and song children are shown different, sometimes difficult, life situations and, at the same time, how to think about them from different perspectives and work through them. Instead of a "don't do that" lecture, which so many of us were and are guilty of with our children, Sesame Street shows children why it might not be good to act a certain way. Children then get the wonderful opportunity to think about their actions and the actions of others instead of merely reacting.

Thinking is good. Thinking is essential. It is a vital element of being human.

It is very troubling and worrisome, then, to see leaders take on a "me first" attitude. This type of attitude sets people against one another, forces them to take sides, and creates great anxiety in everyone. We only have to look at our schools today to see how this attitude is affecting our children. After spending years of trying to teach children empathy, to understand how others feel, it is disheartening to see so much hate brewing in the country today.

A thought: Why don't we all sit down and watch some episodes of Sesame Street? Laugh a little. Play a little. Become childlike for a few minutes. It's a great stress reliever, and our children (and we) will be happier for it.

And, oh yes, think.