My daughter’s kindergarten teacher uses the analogies of bucket dippers versus bucket fillers to teach a valuable life lesson. Bucket fillers are people who are positive, loving, build us up and help us to reach our potential. Bucket dippers are a bit more complicated. They work to tear us down; by verbal insults, distract us with drama and stir the pot to create animosity.
Recently I asked my daughter Anni about a certain child in her class whom I hear her refer to often. She looked at me with a solemn expression and in a contrite tone said, “they are a huge bucket dipper.” “AAAh,” I said immediately as I am quite familiar with life’s said bucket dippers.
I thought back to the self-help book; ‘Everything we ever needed to know we learned in kindergarten.’ I think this would be a qualifying chapter. We all know people who deplete us of energy, conspire to make our live’s more difficult by focusing on minute issue’s and consistently focus on business that does not pertain to them. I.E. my business! I have had a few dippers in my life; running partners that constantly compete as opposed to working together, friends that give constant criticism and family members that shall remain nameless that take more than they give.
Additionally, I have amazing life partners that will forever be my genuine bucket fillers. I am lucky to have an unconditionally loving, hilarious husband. I maintain friendships with a few people that are unconditionally supportive. Also, I have relationships with my siblings and parents that make me a better woman because of their honesty and insight. My sister’s and my stepmom have taught me so much, I only hope to pass on a little wisdom to my daughters.
This is where the sweet afterschool special music is cued and mother sits down daughter for heart to heart. I explained to Anni as best I could that throughout childhood and adulthood you will encounter people who are toxic and rob us of time and energy to focus on positive, soulful living. I tried to kindergarten this down to her, but she seemed to understand the message; learn to discriminate who is most beneficial to have in our lives. Gravitate towards people that acknowledge the world is indeed a good place. Ditch the dipshits that preface conversations with “oh my god I have something to tell you” and then they drone on about trivial nonsense. Find people who make you feel happy, are able to listen without judgement, offer honesty and unconditional kindness. Most of all bucket fillers don’t create tension; they strive for people to get along, are able to take a backseat and cheer.
Years ago my dad told me a story regarding a native american child growing up with two wolves inside of him. The wolves were waging a battle within and the boy asked his grandfather “who wins?” The wise grandfather replied “the one you feed.” It’s so true, you can choose to nurture the negative or the positive.
Yikes having children is so difficult, rewarding and life altering!