The most valuable lesson I have learned is that the most meaningful journey is the inner journey.

Squirrels Teach Saving and Spending

“The Squirrel Manifesto” turns financial lessons into an engaging story for kids

Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week. This week, I thought I would read our children’s book, The Squirrel Manifesto. Ric and I had a wonderful time working with Dave Zaboski, creating this beautiful book, The Squirrel Manifesto. And it’s our hope that children will learn a little bit about money after they read it. So here we go.

The Squirrel Manifesto. There is a forest not too far from here, where the warm winds blow for most of the year. It’s in this fine place you’ll learn something good from critters who live in the walkabout wood. It’s a land alive with infinite hues, a symphony of colors, in reds, yellows, and blues. Where animals come and animals go, with hardly a care for Michelangelo. From dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn, each awakens with joy and goes to sleep with a yawn.

And while I may be small, perhaps you’ve heard. My name is Wren and I’m your guide bird. I usually share in songs, not in words. Every little thing in the language of birds. I know the secrets of every herd, hive, and clan. And I watch with care as they work, live, and plan. The ants are fastidious, disciplined, and true. The beavers industrious, and the foxes are shrewd.
And of all the animals from the cliffs to the sea, there’s one crazy bunch who knows how to be. Oh, they frolic and play and seem without a care, but they know a secret I’m emboldened to share. It’s a singular truth I’ve noticed from above, how these creatures live with vision, charity, and love. I’ve witnessed old Walden who lives in a big tree teach some youngins how to gather and live free.
Come with me, he cried, let’s leap and scramble. From tree limb to tree top and down to the bramble. And I’ll teach you some things you’ll always remember. From season to season, September to September. To gather is great. A squirrel digs and he seeks. But don’t hoard too much. It won’t fit in your cheeks.

This land is our home. These valleys and streams. We owe it our lives, our future, our dreams. Some of our boon goes back to the glade. So there’s always a place for more youngins to shade, to honor the past and what’s been done, and to tend to the present and what will become.

Next we take some nuts and we squirrel them away, so we have something for a cold rainy day. If we save just a little, a couple nuts at a time, it leads to what matters. Squirrel peace of mind. Next we honor ourselves with the gains that we earn. We deserve a good life so we enjoy our own turn. We put some of our flow back into the stream to add to the current and live what we dream. And lastly, I urge you to others give back. It’s hard in the forest for all those who lack. Your life is a blessing of gifts precious and rare. You multiply the grace when you care and you share. The old squirrel looked up and then he said, “Presto, we live by these words. It’s the squirrel manifesto. Care for the world you live in and act. Save a little, spend a little, and always give back.”

Old Walden then granted that I share this with you, so when you gather your nuts you’ll know what to do. And if you ever forget, just look to the trees and remember the squirrels who live there with ease. So remember our squirrel manifesto. Care for the world. Care for the world you live in and act with kindness and gratitude. Save a little, spend a little, and always, always give back.
Have a wonderful week, everyone.

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