Teaching Forgiveness, Learning Acceptance

Posted 16 January 2014 12:00 AM by Toni "Bee" Brooks, Interactive Readings Teaching Artist for Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas

It is a joy to be back this Christmas season performing interactive readings of my favorite author Dr. Seuss. I am storming through the city urging tiny Bostonians - and even the adults who come with them - to act out Seuss’ classic book that I read called, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This year the theme I chose to focus on is forgiveness. That may seem like to lofty a topic for kids to comprehend– but they have quite the hold of the concept, especially since they practice it on the playground daily. Still, to help them better grasp the notion of forgiveness my assistant “Elf” Josie Marr and I act out a scenario where she chooses to forgive my “Grinchy” self which is similar to the Who’s of Whoville, the ones who opened their arms to Mr. Grinch – villain extraordinaire.

Yet, there is something that the young participants and this entire process is teaching me and that is acceptance. First of all I walk into the doors never knowing how accepting our sharp intelligent kids will be to me – a tall MommyLikeLady who excitingly puts on her imagination hat and…reads and acts. I am always ready to have fun and get the message out no matter if the crowd is excited or lackadaisical, if they are rowdy or laidback. Also I never forget a face and it is great to see kids run up to me - who are now a half –a-foot taller and say – ‘Hey I like how you changed it up this year”!

Acceptance is something we all need and want in our lives and I am glad to be encouraging kids in the notion of forgiveness and to be taking the gift of acceptance from them and sewing it into my life!

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