What if everybody did that?

What if everybody did that? by Ellen Javernickby Ellen Javernick (ISBN: 9780761456865)

Book Club Hour today was all about RESPECT:

  • What is respect?
  • How we show respect
  • Who should we respect?
  • Respect for ourselves
  • Respect for our environment and the Earth

The story is actually meant for smaller kids, but we used it in our discussion at Thorntree Prep today with the Intermediates to drive home the main idea: Respect is key to healthy behaviour and healthy relationships. The kids seemed to feel targeted, that “all the adults in the book got together in a meeting and decided to say it to the boy”, since the phrase “What if everybody did that?” is repeated on every double-spread page by the adults involved in each situation.

But the they really enjoyed the illustrations by Colleen M Madden, which are cleverly arranged to show the seemingly harmless act the main character (or the reader!) would do (like feeding popcorn to the bear at the zoo, dropping “just one soda can” out the car window, interrupting the librarian during story time, and throwing his coat on the floor) on the left page, and what it might look like if everybody did that on the right.

What might look like a book full of criticism, ends with the positive message of the boy giving his mom a hug, and the thought, What if everybody did THAT?

A simple discussion about common school rules (like “No hat, No play”, or “No gum chewing allowed”) and bending rules, lead to some practical examples about how we can show respect in our daily lives. Showing respect does not necessarily mean we have to be friends with everyone we meet, or that we would like everyone we meet. But we can still act respectfully to all created things.

Respect shows character, and our daily conversation (walk and talk) should be seasoned with salt, so that any passer-by may form a good opinion when witnessing what we say or do. Sometimes it seems like a small thing when we don’t follow rules, or say or do something disrespectful in the spur of the moment, but we should consider how it would affect our classroom/school/home/town and even Earth as a whole if everybody did that.

We ended the discussion with the 2nd of the Habits of MindManaging Impulsivity (thinking before acting; remaining calm, thoughtful and deliberative, considering alternatives, gathering information and coming to a considered conclusion). If a person can manage his/her own impulsive behaviour, it will show in respect (the way we treat others and ourselves).



Share this!