Have You Filled a Bucket Today? - Book Summary

Instructor: Michelle Acker

Michelle has a degree in English and a Master's in Education from Temple University. She has taught special education, 4th grade, and high school Communication Arts.

Being happy isn't just about doing things you like to do, according to author Carol McCloud; it's about filling each other's buckets. Let's take a closer look at her book, ''Have You Filled a Bucket Today?''.

The Invisible Bucket

Look in your hands! Do you see it? Well, you probably can't see it, but it's there - according to children's book author Carol McCloud, you're holding an invisible, or unseen, bucket: 'All day long, everyone in the whole wide world walks around carrying an invisible bucket.' This bucket is very special because it can't carry sand or rocks, or anything like other buckets carry. 'Its purpose is to hold your good thoughts and good feelings about yourself.'


In her book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids, McCloud explains that being happy isn't just a feeling; it's something that you carry with you all day. You can make yourself happy by making other people happy, and by accepting kindness from others. 'You feel very happy and good when your bucket is full, and you feel very sad and lonely when your bucket is empty.'

McCloud reminds readers of the very important fact that we aren't the only ones carrying a special bucket; and, just as important, we aren't just responsible for our own buckets. We're all responsible for each other's. A full bucket is important because it means you're happy and confident. If you want a full bucket, you need to work together; you can't do it alone. 'You need other people to fill your bucket and other people need you to fill theirs.'


But be careful! McCloud warns us that we can also 'dip into a bucket and take out some good feelings.' It's just as easy to take from someone's bucket as it is to fill it. 'You dip into a bucket when you make fun of someone, when you say or do mean things, or even when you ignore someone.' Those things make you a 'bucket dipper'.

If you're being a bucket dipper, your bucket gets emptier, too. 'Many people who dip have an empty bucket', because hurting someone else, or making someone else feel bad, makes you feel bad too. It's important to be nice, because 'You never fill your own bucket when you dip into someone else's.'

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