“Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away
Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more.”
-Song by Malvina Reynolds
I love preschool singing. I mean, I really love preschool singing. Amongst many joys is the way it stretches me to explain profound ideas to 3-year-olds. With Valentine’s Day approaching, naturally our theme is love songs and one of the kids suggested the old Malvina Reynolds stand-by. But how to explain what it means?
So there was 3-yr.-old Cedar sitting in front of me and I took a penny out of my pocket and asked the group:
“How many pennies do I have?”
“How many does Cedar have?”
“Excellent! Now here’s how math works. I’m going to give the penny to Cedar. Now how many do I have?”
“None. And he has one!”
“Now, let’s imagine I really like Cedar a lot. Because I do! I love Cedar! So if I want to tell him that, I might give him a hug. Cedar, is it all right to have a hug together? Thank you!…Now I gave a hug to Cedar. Does that mean I don’t have any more hugs left?”
“And when I gave away my loving hug, did that leave me with hate?”
“(Laughter as I show an angry face). Nooo!”
“So there you go. Love is a different kind of math. The more you give away, the more love you feel. You have morelove than when you started. That’s why the song says:
‘It’s just like a magic penny. Hold it tight and you won’t have any.
Lend it, spend it, you’ll have so many, They’ll roll right over the floor.”
“Do you all understand about the math of love?”
And they do! But not everyone does. Isn’t that sad?
Friends, that’s the kind of math we need a bit more of in school. A little less of the penny-pinching, dollar-counting kind and little more of the magic penny kind. Okay?