- We can learn about giving from Shel Silverstein’s children’s book, “The Giving Tree.”
- Recognize that you have gifts and tools that will make others happy when you share them.
“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein has long been a cherished book of mine. I remember when I first received the book as a gift when I was seven years old. Through the years, I read it often, paging through the illustrations, reading the rhyming lines over and over again. I loved the story, but it took me a while to truly understand its meaning.When we freely give because of our love for others, we help them to realize what true happiness means. Click To Tweet
To many who read “The Giving Tree,” the main lesson is fairly straightforward and simple: it teaches us the dangers of being selfish.
It shows us what happens when we take and take and do not give in return. We have, in so many ways, channeled both the tree and the boy throughout our lives. But I wonder how many of us have truly seen our own selves as “the boy.” How often have we been “too big,” “too busy,” or “too old and sad”?[scroll down to keep reading]
How often have we desired more in order to be happy or have been blind to the love that others have given us?
As time goes by, we know that we change in many ways as the boy did. We grow taller, become wiser, look older. We desire to experience new things. Our mind thinks in new ways. What once was important to us no longer has the same significance. And what we failed to see as young children, we’ve become more focused on as adults. We have felt the emotions of unconditional love and the desire for those we love to have all that they need.
The tree gave to the boy because she loved him. She never got mad. She never looked for anything in return. She was happy when she was able to make him happy. That is the understanding it took me so long to reach. When we freely give because of our love for others, we help them to realize what true happiness means. For the boy, it was the ability to rest in the company of the tree he knew had provided so much for him.
So, today, be a tree. Recognize that you have gifts and tools that will make others happy when you share them. Do just that…share them.
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About Nicole Kelly
Nicole Kelly is an educator from southwestern Pennsylvania. She has eight years of teaching experience in public and private educational settings. Nicole earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Currently, she teaches full time and is the Content Curator for Education Blueprint.