Life Lessons from an Easter Egg Hunt

The author as a child posing with an inflatable Easter Bunny

One of my earliest childhood memories is of an Easter egg hunt that my dad’s company hosted when I was about three.  On a sunny Saturday morning, the employees’ young children gathered in front of a building facing a big lawn where plastic eggs had been scattered.  Someone said go, and a mob of older children sprinted onto the grass, grabbing eggs and shoving them into plastic bags.  I was younger than most of the kids and wasn’t entirely sure what was happening.  The eggs hadn’t been hidden well; it wasn’t a hunt so much as a race.  My little legs couldn’t run very fast, and it seemed like every time my searching eyes spotted a brightly colored piece of plastic, someone else got to it before I did.  Within a few minutes, all of the eggs had been captured.  I had one lonely egg in my clear plastic bag.

A little boy a couple of years older than me saw me examining my single egg.  His bag was at least half full; he’d been far more successful than me.  He kindly offered me two of his eggs.  I shyly accepted them and added them to my bag, which looked much less pathetic with a trio of plastic orbs.  The little boy, full of energy, seemed excited not only to have captured so many treasures, but also to have shared his bounty.  I thanked him and grinned as I showed my dad my collection.

I’m not sure why this vignette found its way into my long-term memory, but it obviously made an impression on me.  The morals of the story:

  1. We all need a little help sometimes.
  2. A simple act of kindness can have a greater impact on someone than you expect.
  3. Giving feels at least as good as getting.  An extra possession has greater value when given than when retained.
  4. Winning and losing isn’t everything.  Greater joy can be found in finishing the race together than in taking home all the spoils yourself.

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