The eyes of a child are very special. They relay information that is hidden in later years by experience. I learn everyday from my children. They teach me to see the world in a different, non-complicated way. They teach me:
-Living in the moment
Discovery. I remember a long time ago I was on a flight to Paris. It was an Air France flight and everything was in French. It was really neat to hear all the different sounds and I really got a kick out of it. As I sat there, really getting into all the neat sounds I realized that the person sitting next to me (French) was getting a little annoyed or was really surprised that I truly found this otherwise common situation interesting. The message here is to always continue to be curious about things. Take interest and fascinate yourself. This attitude is contagious. I can’t tell you how many times my daughter Eva has looked at me with excited huge brown eyes at a letter in the mail box addressed to her ora frog that she has found in the backyard. Make discovery a part of your life.
True Passion. My kids are very dramatic. Passion runs in my family and my wife’s family. The kind of passion I am talking about is contagious. You know what I mean. The passion in the eyes of my son as he tells me “I am the fastest runner!” He then takes off (in the house) running at full steam. This type of passion is never lost. It lies in the deepest corners of our spirit. Tap into it. Let yourself really feel it!
Boundless Energy. My uncle once told me when looking at my velociraptors (that is what I call most of my kids), “if we ran around like them we would be dead tired.” The reason that kids have that much energy is that they don’t know any better. Ever notice how soundly they sleep at night? Part of it is youth but from experience I know that the energy cycle is a circular one. The more we consciously do more active things the more energy we get. Proper nutrition as well as plenty of rest helps as well. If you have less energy than you want, change your lifestyle and be more active. Maybe a series of activities throughout the day that are less intense will do the trick.
Living in the Moment. My son wants me to build legos with him all the time. When I tell him that I will come upstairs after I clean the kitchen he replies, “But that will be a long time!” Kids lack the concept of time. They know that things will occur in the future but they seem to have an unbelievable way of living in the present. You can see it in their eyes. Living in the moment ties to true passion. The sense of pure excitement when eating a brownie. The total concentration of pouring a make believe tea in a little pony cup. You get the picture. No external thoughts or complications. Total concentration. I can learn from this. I really can.
Simple Happiness. My kids have a lot of toys. Not an overabundance but a lot of them. Some of the toys have over a thousand pieces in them, like some of the lego sets. Some of them are electronic master pieces, like the Wii. The most fun that I ever saw my kids have was with a cardboard box from Sami’s Bakery in Tampa. The kids immediately began playing with this box and pretended to be monsters coming out of the box. The simple fun that they had lasted for days and days. This simple happiness leads us to our final destination, imagination.
Imagination. “I’m bored”, is the joke that we tell our 13 year old twins. The reality is that you want your kids to be a little bored. Not bored to the point that they will get themselves into trouble. A little boredom, however, will stimulate creativity. It will drive imagination and allow them to create and think. Always having something to do or a place to be will create a whirlwind in a growing brain. Stimulate imagination through periods of reflection (even my 5 year olds do it to a certain extent), and yes, boredom! Until next time, take care, and look into a child’s eyes. You will be surprised at what you learn.
Your assignment for the week is to foster a child like approach to things. If you feel like you are out of your comfort zone when you do it, then you are on the right track. What kinds of activities or approaches can you develop this week that will help you to see things the way a child sees things?