Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Pig Will, Pig Won't and other life lessons

Image from Amazon.com.


When my daughter was little, she loved the Richard Scarry book collection. Her favorite was the three story collection of Pig Will and Pig Won't. As you can guess, Pig Will was easy going and willing to help where help was needed and take care of things that needed to be done. Pig Won't - for the most part, wasn't interested in helping or doing much of anything. Scarry's books are filled with cautionary tales, but the endearing animal characters ironically humanize the conflict of each story.

Years after reading these books, the lessons have stuck with me - as a parent and personally. While most of the time people fall in the middle of will and won't - the story of these brother pigs have reminded me how important my attitude and action (or inaction) are. Years ago, if my kids started out having a bad morning I'd say, "Hey, why don't you run upstairs, hop into bed, hop back out and start your day over again?" or when there was a conflict, I'd ask... "Are you wanting to be like Pig Will or Pig Won't today?"

I think I need to send some gratitude to Richard Scarry for helping my kid sort out attitude and action when they were little, but I don't think the thanks stops for matters of juvenile challenges.

A little "Scarryology" could prove to be just what is needed to help face the challenges of adulthood as well.

So then, who do I want to be today? Pig Will or Pig Won't? The lessons of these books help to draw people into space where they can acknowledge challenges, but not stay stuck in the negative space of 'Won't'. Maybe after all - being a Pig Will or a Pig Me too (You'll have to read the series for this insight.) - isn't such a impossibility after all!

(Some have criticized the Scarry collection for being dated and non-politically correct (Ie. mentioning spankings/being bad) according to current standards. While some of the statements made in the stories may come off a little strong, the basic principals are valuable. In my opinion, the benefit and charm of these books outweighs the occasional rough edge. Editing while reading the stories to children is a parental practice that is encouraged, but may or may not be necessary in the case of this series.)

Image from Spooky Vegan.

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