Values and Happiness

29 May - Posted by Diana

The week before I left for Australia, we were discussing "Values and Happiness" in one of our Grade 3 and 4 classes. I had asked them what kind of things made them happy.

At first their responses were, predictably, about things like playing games, getting new clothes and shoes, receiving praise from parents and teachers.

Towards the end of the lesson, I put this question to them:

Me: "So what do you think you NEED to be happy?"
Answer #1: " Money!"

Me: "Really. How much?"
#1: "$1000"

Me: "and what would you do with $1000?"
#1: " I'd buy a ring and a necklace and buy a nice house for my family."

Me: " And then you'd be happy?"
#1: "Yes!"

Me: " What if someone stole the ring and the necklace and destroyed the house? Would you still be happy?"
#1: "No, I'd be very sad."

Me: "So do you think money can really make you happy?"
#1 (and the rest of the class) : " NO!!"
#2: "I think I need to be loved.."
#3: "I need someone to care for and someone to care for me."
#4: "I need friends."
#5: "I need an education, then I can work and earn money and look after my family."

Me: "So what does this tell you? Why do these things have more value than something you can buy?"
 #1 (having a better idea of where this was leading): " Because no one can take these things away from us - If we put value in these things, we will always have happiness - but that might be the wrong answer, I'm not sure if I understand the question properly..."

Me: (wiping a sneaky tear from mine eye..) " I think you understand better than most people."