How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Yesterday, we read an AMAZING book. It was called Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed. It’s ALL about a LITTLE girl named Mary. She is just an ordinary, typical little girl. BUT … SHE manages to CHANGE the world … for the BETTER! HOW does she do this, you ask? Well … by doing just one TEENY tiny GOOD deed! WHAT? One itty bitty, teeny tiny good DEED? Yup! We think we should ALL try it!
Not only was this a FANTASTIC story … it led to some AMAZING and PAINFUL math … painful in a GOOD way! Could you REALLY change the world … in just FIFTEEN days? We all took a guess … and then … we settled in to do some REALLY challenging MATH!
Let’s see. If MARY did something REALLY nice for ONE person … and THAT person decided to do something REALLY nice for FIVE people … that ONE person changed the world for THOSE five people. Now … WHAT if THOSE five people each decided to do something REALLY nice for … five MORE people! Hmm. Well … that would be 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 25. (Some of us actually did 5 X 5 = 25!)
Okay … well … THAT was the EASY part. Now … WHAT if THOSE 25 people each decided to do something really nice for another FIVE people? WHAT? Okay … how are we going to figure that out? We stood in a circle. There were ALMOST 25 of us … so we tossed in a couple stuffies. (Thanks, Ross!) We each held up one hand and then we counted by 5s. In the end … that came out to 125 people!
OH oh … NOW we had to calculate what would happen if EACH of THOSE 125 people decided to do something nice for five MORE people! 125 + 125 + 125 + 125 + 125 … GULP! There DEFINITELY weren’t enough fingers and toes to do THIS calculation! HOW are we going to solve THAT??? I SWEAR you could begin to smell BRAIN cells burning! THAT’S when SOME of us began to pull out the PLACE value blocks! GREAT thinking … because RIPPING numbers apart is what we’ve been TALKING about! Others just did it on PAPER. WOW!
Okay, so IN the END … if 125 people each did something nice … that would be 625 NEW people who could do something nice for ANOTHER 5 people. Wow. These numbers were REALLY beginning to ADD up … and FAST … 625 is only FOUR days after Mary’s adventure started! COULD she pull it off in only fifteen days? We still weren’t certain she could.
If you found it challenging to add 5 groups of 625, or multiply 625 by 5 … how would YOU do it? MANY of us ripped the numbers apart, into their expanded form, and did 600 + 600+ 600+ 600+ 600 = 3000. 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 = 100. 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 25. So, 3000 + 100 + 25 = 3 125. OUCH! We don’t even have to KNOW how to work with numbers THIS large … but … THAT’S not stopping us! Just WATCH us go!
While we AREN’T going to RUIN the surprise and TELL you what the final number was … we wonder if YOU are up for the challenge at HOME! We bet YOU’LL smell burning brain cells TOO! Here’s a hint: this book was written when there were UNDER 7 billion people living in the world. Fifteen days was ALL it took. With the population OVER 7 billion now, it might take fifteen days and a teeny TINY portion of ONE more day! YOU be the judge … DO the MATH!
What a BEAUTIFUL lesson. Being kind DOESN’T need to cost MONEY! Here are some simple things WE plan to do in our quest for a KIND and THOUGHTFUL world … without even SPENDING a DIME:
- when people are lonely invite them to hang out with you
- respect other peoples’ property (snow forts, etc.)
- when someone is hurt, HELP them
- if someone is being picked on, stand UP for them
- if someone’s pencil box falls on the ground, help them
- take new people under your wing
- give someone a heartfelt compliment
- give someone a great big SMILE, or a HUG, and tell them to have a GREAT day
- make something for someone … just because
- clean up a mess … even if it’s NOT yours … on the playground, in the lunchroom, in the classroom, at HOME, etc.
- empty the dishwasher or VACUUM without even being ASKED
- make someone a special breakfast in BED
- let the people you love KNOW how MUCH you love them … a BIG hug … a BIG kiss always makes our loved ones feel VERY special … each and EVERY day!
What do YOU think? COULD you change the world in just fifteen days if EVERYONE did something nice for five other people? See if YOU can work through the calculations! Let us know what you discover! And, we’d LOVE to hear about something nice you’ve done for someone else … or something really nice that someone did for YOU … JUST because! The CHALLENGE is ON!
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
~Edward Everett Hale
Happy WORLD KINDNESS DAY, everyone!
Enjoy a slideshow of SOME of our adventure: