As a quick warm-up to my classes on Wednesday, I had my students write down three things they were thankful for. I then had them share their answers with the class. Keep in mind, my kids are all 13 & 14 year olds in a fairly typical suburban middle-class community. I was expecting answers like: a favorite video game, cell phones, sports' teams and hobbies, Disneyworld, computers, bikes, etc. To my surprise, I got barely any of that.
Me like food, cave, water! Ooga mooga.
Instead I was bombarded with all different variations on food, shelter, air (?!), water, and friends, & family. Basic needs & companionship. Very impressive, since middle schoolers ofter trick their parents into thinking they hate them, haha--but really? I'm confused! I guess I sort of expected them to give more materialistic answers. Are you feeling okay kids??
Maybe it's a reflection of tough times in the world today, but I was pleasantly surprised and proud of my kids for their maturity in grasping a valuable life lesson: to appreciate the simple things.
Maybe we underestimate middle schoolers. I know for me, it took a long time as a young person to realize life wasn't about STUFF, and that STUFF doesn't neccessarily make you happy. These kids seem to get that already, and it made me feel good about our future. Any theories about that from our blog readers? Are kids becoming more practical, grounded, and less materialistic, or am I reading too much into this? Either way, it seems an excellent question for the "biggest shopping day of the year" when Americans beat each other up outside of Walmart to try to get the deals.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying your leftovers! G and I are grateful for so much, especially you all! Thanks for reading.