The New Year – Let’s Make It Better
The team here at Storytime would like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year! January is a time to look at where we are and where we would like to be in the coming months. We all like to make resolutions – and one of the best resolutions is to try and be an even better human being.
We firmly believe that stories can give us excellent role models and inspiration, and here are a few of our favourites that remind us of qualities we would like to work on. Which of these qualities do you want more of?
Understanding and empathising with the way others are feeling is a very important part of building good relationships. A classic tale on this theme is The Friendly Lion (Storytime 59). Set in Roman times, it is the tale of a runaway slave who is trapped in a cave with a fearsome beast. Despite his fear, when the slave realises that the lion is in pain, he helps it and removes the thorn in its paw. This act of kindness is repaid much later… but we won’t spoil the happy ending! Being aware of other’s emotions and taking them into account can make the world a better place for all of us and it is something we should remember all year round!
In a time when social isolation, it is easy to neglect our relationships with other people outside our bubbles – but having and maintaining a good support network is vitally important, now more than ever! In our recent story, Hiro and the Storm (Storytime 72), a young hare has to flee an oncoming tropical storm and only manages it with the help of the friends he makes along the way. It shows us that our friends are those we can rely on for physical and emotional help. Is there someone you know that you haven’t contacted in a while? Why not reach out to them and see how they are? A good chat will make you both reconnect and feel positive!
As well as friendship, generosity is a quality that makes life better for those around you, and often makes our lives richer, too. We often think of giving money when we talk about generosity, but it’s equally important to can give our time, our attention and our skills! Our favourite story about generosity is The Selfish Giant (Storytime 28) – which happens to be written by one of our favourite writers of all time, Oscar Wilde. The titular giant keeps children out of his beautiful garden, but learns that his life and his garden become much more wonderful when he lets them in. Sharing makes life better, he learns that soon enough, and we couldn’t agree more! Needless to say, we highly recommend it.
Whether we want to deal with difficult circumstances or challenges, courage is an essential quality! It can be stressful to get out of our comfort zones, but a brave spirit definitely helps. After all, every explorer and adventurer was once someone who was afraid, but was determined enough to overcome it! Storytime is full of stories of derring-do, but a favourite is the classic fairy tale of Jack the Giant-Killer (Storytime 45). When the giant Cormoran plunders his land, little Jack decides to face him, no matter that his foe is so much bigger than him. For this plucky hero, overcoming his fear is half the battle, and we can definitely learn something from him!
And lastly, the story Hansel and Gretel, our fairy tale from Storytime #13, demonstrates many of the qualities already mentioned, while also showing how important determination is to get us through! When Gretel and her brother are captured by the witch, they do not give up saving themselves and are very resourceful and determined to escape. Gretel shows great courage, and keeps her brother believing they will manage to escape. Despite any setbacks – it’s the little girl determination and bright ideas that saves them. And of course, the love and friendship of brother and sister was crucial to keep them going. We can all learn something from them!
Look for qualities in stories that bring the best in the characters and help them to a happy ending. We hope they inspire your New Year resolutions! Wishing you courage, strength and determination in the year ahead!
With love, from the Storytime Team