I did it. I signed on to committee work at school this year, more specifically the year long school theme committee. This year's theme....peace. The guidebook? A little book by Carol McCloud called "Have You Filled a Bucket?"
Early on, I was asked to help kick off the year during the first school assembly by telling that "story" to the kids. Couldn't do that. It is not a story, it's a guidebook to a life philosophy. Now, I know there are some of you who will say,
"Well, what story *isn't* a guidebook to some life philosophy?" True enough, but at least those have the elements of story; characters, setting, plot. This has none of those.
Instead, I told a story of a related nature. It was months ago; I can't even remember exactly what story it was, but I do remember many children coming up to me in the halls or in the lunchroom for a few days afterward, saying, "I really liked your story!"
That is actually the essence of Ms. McCloud's message. You fill the "buckets" of others and it fills your own. We had the privilege of hosting Ms. McCloud at our school yesterday. She did assemblies for the kids, an inservice for the teachers, had dinner with us, then presented to the community. The philosophy is so elegantly simple....be nice and you'll feel good. The kids at our school have been getting the message about being "bucket fillers" or "bucket dippers"...you don't want to be a dipper!...for 92 days now. After the visit yesterday, we enjoyed a day at school with all kinds of bucket filling...."Hi, Mrs. Calvetti, how are you doing?" A picture left on a teacher's desk by a kindergartner, "just because."
The one that made me smile was a young man with autism who came down to work with me and proceeded to give me one of his signature bear hugs. He asked to played Uno, and when he'd get those "draw 4" cards....which he always did...he'd chortle at me.
At one point, I stopped, looked at him and said, "You know....we're just kidding around with each other cause we're friends. What if you were doing that with another friend? Would it fill his bucket?"
To which my young friend replied, in his inimitable speech patterns...."I not need to worry, my bucket full!"
His bucket is indeed full. Let's all try and fill each others' buckets, something anyone can do for another person...in these tough economic times, it costs nothing and means much.