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Easter Egg Hunts: Is this where it begins?

May 3, 2011

She didn't have the most eggs, but was content.

Is this where it begins? It seems innocent enough: A group of children ranging in age from 3 to 10 are lined up at Columbine Park ready for the fire engine to signal it is time to make a mad dash. In front of them, a large grassy area filled with eggs and candy. Behind every child was at least one parent coaching the children to get as much candy as they can.

This was the first time I was the parent of an Easter egg hunter, my 3-year-old daughter, Quincy. Earlier that morning, I, along with about 40 other Lions, spread boxes full of candy and sectioned off parts of the park for the various age groups to ensure the hunt was fair and safe for everyone.

I imagine I had similar thoughts other parents have felt. I wondered if Quincy would know what to do, if she would get her fair share of eggs or be run over or out-hunted by the other children. Like many parents, I wanted her to be successful.

It was not so much that I wanted Quincy to get a bunch of candy. After all, we still have a large stash from Halloween. It was more about worrying that other children would grab all the candy before she could get a few pieces.

Later, I wondered at what point is our hope for our children’s success healthy, and when does our encouragement create greed in this consumer-based society in which we live?

Does our quest for the most Easter eggs at age 3 lead us, as a society, to always wanting more? Today it was more Easter eggs; tomorrow it could be a bigger house or a new car. Right away our encouragement leads to wanting more.

Do not get me wrong; I am all for competition. Things I learned from competitions have helped shape who I am today. Learning from defeat and becoming encouraged by victory has pushed me to become better.

That being said, I do not think we should want more for ourselves and less for others. If I win, doesn’t that mean that others lose? Can we find a happy medium?

If we continually need to ‘keep up with the Joneses” we end up getting ourselves into a bad financial situation. Rather than taking everything for ourselves, I believe we all benefit from cooperating, not competing, with one another. This is not only true on an individual level, but on a community and regional level. Business owners can work together more to achieve success for all businesses rather than just for themselves.

I believe we can attract more resources to help us be successful as a region. It is easy to want to compete against our neighboring communities, but we need to find success as a group. My wife and I love living in northeastern Colorado, but one of our biggest fears is what the region will look like 20 years from now.

It will take successful individual businesses to help our region, but we also need to look at the resources we can maximize as a group to benefit our region. At times, it may mean a few individual sacrifices for the public good — some sacrifices to improve our area’s education systems and infrastructure; sacrifices to make our region more attractive to those considering relocating here.

We all want the best education for our children, nice parks and streets and a safe community in which to live. Yet we also want low taxes. What are you willing to sacrifice for the betterment of your community?

As for Quincy, I think she is off to a good start despite her nervous parents. When he siren went off, she was frozen for a couple seconds, stunned as all the children took off. She finally began walking toward the candy until she found just what she was looking for, a little chocolate bunny, maybe 1 ½ inches tall.

She stared at the bunny for awhile with a look of contentment. Many children had a lot more candy in their baskets, but Quincy was perfectly happy with her little bunny.

“This is just what I wanted,” Quincy said.

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