Outcomes Offered

■ Ownership of thoughts

■ Ownership of feelings

■ The knowledge that positive thinking can result in positive feelings

Katie was jumping rope on the lawn in front of her home. It was a nice day, the sun was shining warmly, and she had all the time in the world to enjoy her jumping. She felt happy. Her thoughts were focused on her jumping: how to match the spinning of the rope in her hands and the jumping of her feet so they didn't get tangled, causing her to fall. When her mind and muscles were working together, when everything flowed smoothly, it felt pretty good.

As she jumped, she remembered that her grandmother had given her the rope for Christmas. She knew that her grandmother didn't have a lot of money and had to save up to buy the jump rope. Before Christmas, her grandmother had taken her to some toy shops to look at different things, hoping to subtly find out what Katie wanted. When Katie got not just a jump rope but the very jump rope she really wanted, she felt especially loved by her grandmother.

As she skipped, a boy rushed across the road. He ripped her special jump rope from her hands, shouting, "Give me that" and raced back across the road toward the park.

What a horrible boy, thought Katie. At first she was shocked and upset; but when she thought, He has stolen the jump rope my grandma gave me for Christmas, she became very angry. Then, thinking she had lost her jump rope forever, she felt sad and found tears welling up in her eyes.

Racing across the park in the direction the boy had gone, she saw that a younger child had fallen into a pond. The boy had thrown an end of her jump rope out for the child to grab. Thinking to herself, That little kid could drown, she began to feel worried for the child. As the boy pulled the child to safety, her thoughts changed again. "He's going to make it," she called out loud, and began to feel relieved.

When the child was safely on the bank and appeared to be okay, the boy walked up to Katie and handed back the jump rope, saying, "I'm sorry if I frightened you before, but I had to act quickly. Thank you for the loan of the rope." Thinking that it was nice of him to apologize and return the rope, Katie felt grateful.

Back home, she told her mom the story of how the jump rope had helped save the child. She told her father when he got home from work and even rang up her grandmother to tell her. As Katie thought of the part her jump rope had played, she felt proud—and then she had another thought: It wasn't the rope that made me feel all those ways, it was the way I thought about the rope. And with that thought, she felt even better.

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