• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Friday, November 1, 2013


Trick of treating just upped the ante.

A group of 5 or 6 young children arrived.
They were as excited and noisy as children can be.
And then the unthinkable happened.

For the first time ever I had a boy look over the offerings, say no thanks, and stand there with his pillow case out asking for something else! 


And an adult stood there watching him. 
She saw and heard him do that. 


We offer three different kinds of candy (because a child may have health issues like allergies) and always offer something that is non-food also. This year it was a choice between a glow-stick necklace or bracelet.

"No thanks!" the boy said.
I found his expectations and actions startling. 

How's that for an attitude of entitlement? 

Whatever happened to the gratitude and excitement of taking whatever you got and trading it to someone if it wasn't your favorite thing? 

On the LDS provident living web site about self-reliance, in Elder Marvin J Ashton's famous financial talk titled "One for the Money," he stated, "We live in a self-indulgent, me-oriented, materialistic society." I recommend his wise counsel about our expectations.

I had some other candy in the house.
I took a small, individually wrapped piece in my hand and put it in his pillow case without him seeing it or having a chance to object. I just wanted them to go away.

I just kept wondering if maybe the adult might take care of teaching him privately.

We have a trick of our own we play on kids each Halloween.
We give them some candy when they knock or ring.

If they say Thank You, we give them more.
Often it is a much more substantial treat.
None of this group qualified.

Sometimes we teach by gentle prompting.

If only one says it, gets the additional treat, and then the group all chorus thank-you we hand they all an extra treat. Including a second round for the first to say it.

We want to help them appreciate the good things of life.
To understand how gratitude increases our blessings.

The whole incident has given me much pause . . .

As I pondered, and confronted my initial outrage, and have been working to try to resolve it into a meaningful learning experience, trying to find good in the experience, I kind of a scary thought: Am I like that?

Now I find myself wondering if I act like that when I knock on Heavenly Father's "door" begging a treat. And when he offers me a selection I say no thanks, I want something different. I say no thanks to all He offers me and expect him to give me something else I want and maybe even demand . . .

I think I am going to have to repent again  . . .