Have you bought your cookies today?
This past weekend at the University of Hawaii Strength Clinic I was fortunate enough to listen to Judge Thomas Ka’auwai Kaulukukui Jr. as he told a story that mirrored what us teachers should be doing every single day.
The story starts with a man hearing a knock on his front door, he opens it to find two little girls asking him if he want’s to buy a small bag of cookies for $2. The man asks where they are from and what they are selling the cookies for.
The girls are quite shy and quiet …“We are raising money for our team from Kailua to go to a big softball tournament on the Mainland” the girls say.
The man asks, “Well why should I buy cookies that are supporting a team from my neighboring town of Kailua and not the team from my town?”
The girls sort of shrug and don’t really have an answer. “Is there a team from my town going to this tournament?” “No” say the girls “we are the only team from Oahu that was chosen to go”.
“So wait” says the man “You mean you are representing our entire island?” “Yes” the girls say. The man reaches into his pocket to pull out his money then hesitates. “Wait, are you girls any good? I don’t want to support a team that’s representing my island if they are gonna get slaughtered in this tournament”. “Yeah we’re pretty good” the girls say, “We went undefeated and won our conference”.
“So wait” the man says, “you didn’t lose a game all season??” “Nope” the girls reply, “ we beat everyone easily”
The man reaches for his wallet but then hesitates again… “Wait, are these cookies any good??” “Yeah they are great” say the girls. “How do you know?” the man asks. “Well we taste a little of every batch and they are probably the best cookies you’ve ever tasted”.
“Hmmm” says the man “Ok, here’s $10, give me 5 bags”. The girls are stoked and walk back down the driveway as they wave and thank the man with big smiles.
Meanwhile, the man’s wife who was inside and heard the entire, lengthy exchange asks him “Why can’t you just buy the cookies like everyone else? Now those girls will never come back to this house”. The man smiles and says “Oh we will probably be the first house they come to next year”.
“Still” says his wife “Why can’t you just buy the cookies like everyone else?” The man says, “I’m a teacher, it’s my job to teach for life”. “Teach? What do you mean?” his wife asks.
The man asks his wife to come outside as the girls walk up to his neighbor’s house and knock on the door. His neighbor opens the door and hears the following: “Good morning sir! We are selling cookies to raise money to go to a tournament on the mainland…. and this is a BIG deal…we are the only team who was selected from the ENTIRE island so we are representing YOU…and we are REALLY good too…oh, and we went UNDEFEATED this year and we think we are going to do GREAT at this tournament…Oh, and these are the BEST cookies you will ever taste and your neighbor bought FIVE BAGS!”
So I will ask the question one more time to all you teachers, coaches, trainers…
“Have you bought any cookies today?”