Once upon a time, there was a big orange sandbox. Inside this sandbox, there were seven toddlers of different sizes and colors. While they were playing without a care in the world, the seven little ones realized there was no sand in the box. This caused an existential problem. How could seven toddlers continue to have fun inside the orange sandbox without any sand?
A boy named Shawn thought, “Well, it’s not my problem. I was placed here in this box. Surely someone else will figure it out. I don’t want to get in their way. I am just going to play with my shovel inside this empty orange sandbox until someone gets some sand.”
Another boy named Carl started to complain and cry. “WHERE’S THE SAND? I WANT SAND! I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEONE WOULD BUILD A SANDBOX WITHOUT SAND? WHY!? I NEED THE SAND!!” His eyes started to water, while his face blushed with pout.
Annoyed, the tallest girl Samantha shouted out, “Be quiet already! What were you expecting? A huge sandcastle, buckets, and an ocean? How about a huge sand sea turtle, shells, and a mermaid too?! This is what’s here – deal with it! Sheesh.”
“Don’t take it out on him,” said Tabitha. “We need to think of something. Hm… If we pool enough money, we can get a bag of sand –“
“But we’re toddlers!” argued back Samantha. “We don’t have money! And even if we did, how we are going to get to the store and carry it back? What a dumb idea!”
“True. I guess I could create petitions and we could go out into the community to solicit funds and signatures…”
They all looked back incredulously at her while she continued talking.
“Why bother…,” Gary replied slowly and emotionlessly. “It doesn’t matter. Our parents will be here soon. Let’s just sit here… Shawn, stop playing…it’s useless.”
Shawn retracted his shovel and cowered back.
After a few more moments of silence, Carl started to cry again, lamenting the lack of materials. Tabitha spoke over his screaming, proposing new ideas and projects, and even delegating duties too advanced for their years. Samantha was about to have a temper tantrum, tired of all of other toddlers. Gary picked up a stick and scratched at the empty floor of the sandbox morosely. And Sean sat in his corner, hoping to avoid everyone altogether.
At that point, Quinton stoop up, climbed over the orange sandbox rails, and walked away. The toddlers looked up anxiously and cried aloud.
“Where’re you going!?” “Quinton!” “Come back!!”
Henry, seeing his friend had gone over, climbed on top of the orange plastic walls to get him to return.
“Quinton, come back! You’re not safe out there!”
“It’s boring in there,” he shouted back. “Plus, I don’t want to hear more of their talk. The sandbox is for little kids. I’m going to do something my way.” And he crawled off into the field, never to be seen again by the others.
Saddened, Henry didn’t know what to do. But then he looked around. Sitting on top of the orange sandbox rails allowed him to see beyond the box. He saw dogs in the park, a playground, and a group of older kids playing football. Then he got it.
Henry crawled back down with his diaper sagging behind him and shouted it out.
“Let’s play tag!”
“I WANT SAND!” cried back Carl. Shawn voicelessly waved his shovel in the air, while Gary shook his head.
“That is so dumb. Why would we do that in a sandbox!” bellowed back Samantha.
“Unfeasible!” declared Tabitha.
Henry thought for a moment what he was going to say.
“Do you want to end up like Quinton!? Hopeless, angry, dissatisfied, and void of happiness in this box because of no sand? We need to make the best of the box! Look beyond the box, guys! There were people who are doing more things outside the box. But here we are. We need to think and do something for ourselves!”
A collective “huh” gurgled out.
“Tabitha, stop thinking of things that we can’t possibly do! Samantha, stop criticizing everything! Carl, stop crying about it! Gary, don’t give up! And Shawn, do something! We’re here, aren’t we? Let’s make the best of it. We can’t run around yet, so this sandbox is the best place to crawl around and play tag! So…Gary, you’re it!”
And as confused as they were, because of Henry’s creativity, the six toddlers enjoyed that afternoon. From that day onward, the orange sandless box became a platform of creativity: a fort, a spaceship, a castle, a lunchbox, the Olympic stadium, and yes, an area to play crawl tag.
You ask what happened to Quinton? He crawled several feet past his mother who was busy gossiping with the other mothers. The one older boy running to receive a football pass didn’t see him and tripped over him causing an accident with details to gory to describe here. That’s what happens to quitters. They get run over.
Lesson: Orange is better than black and blue.