Reading The Little Red Hen to Samuel two nights ago, I was reminded of a truly valuable life lesson.
Ignoring the fact that I am furthering my education solely through children’s books now, it was surprisingly effective. All of the little red hen’s farm-yard companions repeatedly refuse her appeals for assistance with planting, threshing, grinding and baking, claiming that they are “too busy”. Until she asks them if they can help her eat the end-product that is, but of course she doesn’t let them.
How many times am I “too busy”, too locked into my rigid daily routines and chores. to help out anybody else. And how many times does that mean I am missing out on sharing with them in their positive outcomes? Worse still, how often do they themselves miss out because they couldn’t do it alone?
In the version of The Little Red Hen that we have, her friends are depicted performing circus acts – busy with trivialities, not anything useful. I wonder whether, for example, my ‘need’ to hoover the house twice a week – strictly on Tuesday and Friday mornings- is the tight-rope walking equivalent.
Writing this, and having it read, gives me an uncomfortable accountability though. But the next time I see somebody that needs me to abandon my own acrobatics to help them, I’ve got to do it.
And maybe, or maybe not, enjoy the fresh baking at the end.