Explain that it is normal for us to get angry about certain things but that we can also choose not to be angry. Explain that some people believe that “Everything has to make me very very angry” and others believe that “Some things don’t have to make me angry at all.” Tell the students that you will be reading a story about a girl who once believed that everything had to make her very very angry and that you’ll want to know what they think after you read it.
Read part one of the following story:
LETTING GO STORY - Part One: Once upon a time there was a girl named Angela. She often got very very angry about very many things. If she came into the kitchen and didn’t see what she wanted for breakfast, she would be angry with her mother. She thought, “Mom should have known what I wanted. I’m not going to eat this.”
When she got to school, raised her hand to speak and wasn’t called on right away by the teacher, Angela got angry and made a pouty face so that the teacher would know. When the class lined up to go to recess, she had to be the last in line. And then at recess somebody pushed her! Angela’s pouty face just kept getting bigger and bigger and she wasn’t always respectful to others. Some of the other students didn’t want to play with her and her teacher and parents were not happy with her. But Angela didn’t know what to do - there were so many things to be angry about!
Ask students the following questions to promote the understanding that we can choose to let go of certain things and not allow them to make us angry.
Do you think that Angela had to get so angry about all those things?
Do you think that Angela could have said to herself that some of those things were not so important.
What things makes you angry?
Do you think that you can say to yourself that some of those things are not important enough to make you angry anymore?
Explain to the students that Angela learned and began to believe that some things were not important enough to get angry about and spent less and less of her time being angry. Read part two of the following story:
LETTING GO STORY - Part Two: The next day in school, Angela noticed that her friend Avi had his hand up for a long time but wasn’t being called on. She kept looking for the pout to come on her face but it never did. When the classroom jobs were given out and none were left for Avi, Angela thought that now he would get angry, for sure. But still no pout! At recess, another student pushed Avi. Instead of getting angry and yelling at her, Angela heard Avi say to the student, “Please be more careful next time.”
Angela couldn’t understand it, and asked Avi, “Why aren’t you angry? He answered, “I don’t get angry at little things like being called on right away. I just let them go. I know I’ll be called on some time. When that girl pushed me at recess, I knew it wasn't on purpose.
As the class lined up to go back in from recess, Avi didn't run to be first in line because he knew it really didn't matter. He looked at Angela and smiled as they both walked slowly to the end of the line. Angela knew that her friend Avi would help her remember that some things were just not important enough to get get angry about.