Sunday, January 13, 2008

some words on gummy bears.

Back when I was in 5th grade, Sister Mary Keller was my homeroom teacher. She allowed us one single tiny gummy bear (no, not jumbo-sized) when we achieved something praise-worthy. An A+ on a spelling test = one gummy bear. Perfect attendance for the month = one gummy bear. General good behavior and manners = one gummy bear.

It was a simple small reward--and far more delicious than the over-rated gold star. Still, we complained, as children do. We weren't greedy necessarily. We just thought our hard work merited more than one gummy bear. So, we'd implore, "Sister Mary Keller! Can we have more than one. Pleeeease! One is so small. And we eat it too quickly." Sister MK would reply "No, only one. Savour it." And "savour it" we did. We wouldn't just gobble and swallow the gummy bear quickly...we'd suck on it. Take it out of our mouths, and examine it, comment on it, and then suck on it more until it dissolved. Or we'd bite off the arms, the legs, and the head one by one, until we were left with nothing but a green or red-stained tongue.

That phrase has stuck with me for all these years -- "savour it." It was Sister MK's way of teaching us that no blessing is too reward is beneath us...and that we should take them as they come and be grateful, even it it meant sucking on it slowly and taking small bites, so as to not waste it's goodness too quickly. I know that's what she meant, even if she was just talking about gummy bears.

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