15 October 2015

It begins with the first soiled spoon you are too lazy to wash

This is the forty ninth in a series I am writing for the JEANS section of 'The Nation'.  The series is for children. Adults, consider yourselves warned...you might re-discover a child within you!  Scroll down for other articles in this series. 

Children, especially those who are still very young, are often dropped off at school and picked up once school is done, usually by parents.  Sometimes parents have to wait and wait and wait because some children don’t rush off when the bell rings.  They take things slow.  

It’s not unnatural.  After all, school is also about friends and friendship.  There’s so much to talk about and some conversations can’t be ended abruptly.  But sometimes, it is not chit-chat that causes delays.  There are children who want to return to a neat and clean classroom the following day.  Sometimes the teacher sets up a roster so that everyone has to clean-up at least once or twice a month, but sometimes this is not done.  

It’s good to keep things neat and tidy even if no one applauds you for it.  But sometimes it seems just too much work, whether in school or at home.  After all you can always find something more interesting or something less tiresome to do.  You could watch a movie, play a game, read a book or just sleep!  

The more you postpone the bigger the pile.  Think of a kitchen sink.

Someone uses a spoon but doesn’t wash and put it away.  ‘I’ll do it later,’ he or she thinks.  Maybe he or she thinks ‘it’s easier to do all the washing in one go!’  Well, it all begins with a single unwashed spoon (or fork or saucer or cup or plate or anything that needs to be washed but is not).  

Someone else uses something else and comes to the sink to wash it.  He or she sees the unwashed spoon.  Now would he or she wash both the spoon and whatever was brought to be washed?  Both may get washed, but the chances are that the second item would join the unwashed spoon.  With each item that is added to the sink the will to wash everything gets weaker.  Before you know it there’s a big pile of unwashed cutlery and crockery in the sink.  

That’s what happens when you postpone things.  They just pile up and the bigger the pile the less inclined you are to deal with it.  And then it becomes a chore, an entire project, a headache! 

It’s the same with homework.  It’s the same with cleaning your room.  It all begins with the first thing you didn’t do.  

Just think of the things you postpone doing.  There are lots of things that people postpone.  Sometimes it’s something really ‘small’ such as putting back the cap on a tube of toothpaste.  Putting away schoolbooks in the right place after you get home is a common ‘I’ll-do-it-later’ thing. Making your bed once you wake up is another.  In general, it’s all about picking up and putting away.  Make it a habit and you will have less ‘projects’ to deal with, less headaches.  

Think about it this way.  If you think of homework as though it was a spoon that needs to be washed, the easier way to deal with it is to do the simple assignments as spoons.  Do it and put it away. Revise everyday and you won’t have a mountain of things to study for the end-of-term exam.  

And remember, a mountain of spoons, forks, plates and cups makes a massive headache.  You don’t need such things when you are a child.

It all begins with the first spoon that goes unwashed, remember.   

Other articles in this series
You have loads of time, you know
A puddle is a canvas
Venus-Serena tied at love-all
Some jokes are not funny
There's an ant story waiting for you
And you can be a rainbow-maker
Trees are noble teachers
On cloudless nights the moon is a hole
Gulp down those hurtful words
A question is a boat, a jet, a space-ship or a heart
Quotes can take you far but they can also stop you
No one is weak
The fisherman in a black shirt
Let's celebrate Nelli and Nelliness
Ready for time travel?
Puddles look back at you, did you know?
What's the view like from your door?
The world is rearranged by silhouettes
How would you paint the sky?
It is cool to slosh around
You can compose your own music
Pebbles are amazing things
You can fly if you want to
The happiest days of our lives
So what do you want to do with the rain?
Still looking for that secret passage?
Maybe we should respect the dust we walk on
Numbers are beautiful 
There are libraries everywhere 
Collect something crazy
Fragments speak of a thousand stories 
The games you can and cannot play with rice
The magic of the road less-traveled
Have you ever thought of forgiving?
Wallflowers are pretty, aren't they?
What kind of friend do you want to be? 
Noticed the countless butterflies around you?
It's great to chase rainbows
In praise of 'lesser' creatures 
A mango is a book did you know?
Expressions are interesting things
How many pairs of eyes do you need?
So no one likes you?
There is magic in faraway lights
The thambilil-seller of Giriulla
When people won't listen, things will
Lessons of the seven-times table