The First Grader + A One Dollar State Of Mind

Earlier this week, I volunteered at my daughters school book-fair. The short time helping out was very typical and similar to the many other volunteer opportunities - lots of chatting, meeting parents and students, helping the little ones out with selecting books, answering questions, etc... the norm.

However, there were two very unique conversations I had, which happened at two different times and with two different students. The first conversation was quite meaningless and just made me smile. When I had the second conversation with another student, my mind zoomed in on PERSPECTIVE, as I compared both conversations with the two students.

You see, there was this little girl who came up to me, she was very excited and had her money tight in her hand. The first grader, without hesitation and ready to make a purchase, asked, "I have one dollar! What can I get?!" As she pointed to a section of cute little toys and knickknacks, I smiled back and showed her the awesome things she can buy. The girl was happy from the moment she entered the book-fair, all the way up to paying for her scented eraser - which she was SO happy to get - and her bookmark. I would label her as, one very happy customer!

Then, there was the moment when a ten year old came up to me.  Initially, the boy was glancing at books, posters and a few other things in the fair.  He asked me, "what can I get with just ten dollars?" "You can get so much with ten dollars, that is an awesome amount of money you have," I replied, with a smile. His straight faced expression read something that said, "are you serious?" "We have an awesome 'buy 1, get 1 FREE' promotion and you can get anything," I shared, with the unimpressed ten year old.  The ten year old asked, "can the free item be anything or ?" I showed him books that he was interested in and replied, "It can be anything and it needs to be less in price, than the item you are purchasing." Eventually, the boy made a purchase of a book and chose to get a poster, as the free item.

Like many moms, I try to spin things into a teaching and sharing moment with Cassy (as she rolled her eyes, thinking "here she goes again"...haha!), so I told her of the conversation with both students, then began to talk about perspective and state-of-mind.

You see, we all have choices in life.

We can be like the first grader - excited and feeling that one whole dollar, is as much as having one hundred dollars.


We can be like the ten year old - asking ourselves (or others), "what can I get with JUST ten dollars?"

In reality, we all know, ten dollar is far more than one dollar. The first grader was not concerned with who had more than her, all she knew was that she had one dollar to spend and that one dollar was more than enough for her. She knew, she could still walk out the fair, with something in her hand, that she had bought. The boy was concerned with only having ten dollars, feeling he was limited and unsure if he was going to walk out the fair with something.

What it comes down to is, perspective and state of mind.

I feel when we have the mindset of that first grader, the world and life seems limitless. Our dreams, visions, goals and aspirations seem that much more attainable.  When we have the limited mindset, as the ten year old did, we immediately short change our selves (no pun intended). This mindset can easily build walls that divide us from our goals and dreams. It can also often create a narrow point of view, not letting us see the immense amount of possibilities all around us. The confusion, drama, negativity and whatever is going in our circumstances and in life, can expand into further negativity with that type of mindset.

Let us be first graders.

Let us have that state of mind.