I have a fairly new routine in my life. I pick up my daughter from school and inevitably her baby brother falls asleep either right before I grab her or quickly after. So we grab Starbucks and head to a local not-busy park where I sit with him in the car and watch her play. When he wakes, we join her. It works for us. My high-energy daughter gets to work out some of that energy and my baby boy gets his much-needed nap.
But the observer I am, has noticed a few interesting things. I often find myself saying she’s now here earth side, she has a lot to learn when she has big feelings that express themselves loudly often when it’s the most inconvenient or when she asks me the billionth question for the day. But after watching her play for several weeks now, I think in reality I know I, or rather we, have a lot to learn from kids like her.
No matter who arrives, the parents always find a bench or a place away from the other parents. And the funny thing is, they always take the farthest spots from each other. And the trend continues as new parents arrive. I’m guilty of it too. And I don’t even know why I do it. We don’t talk to each other. We may nod and say a polite and courteous hello. But that’s about it. We naturally divide ourselves, separating naturally.
Then there are the kids… and whether they are shy or they are outgoing, it’s all the same. The outgoing kids jump right on in while the shy kiddos may take a bit to warm up, but the result is always the same. They play together sharing everything, no qualms about anything. They embrace each other for their similarities and common goal rather than focusing on their differences. Most of the time they compromise and just do… See it’s simple for them.
Somewhere along the way society and growing up messes it all up. We become hyper-focused on our uncomfortableness with the unfamiliar, with wanting what we want, and our own understanding of how we operate in the world. We start to see me and you against each other versus us and what we can do together. We naturally separate, divide, and group ourselves forgetting that at one point the goal was to “play, have fun, and enjoy time together.”
Or in adult words, we forget that what we are when we started in this world is the same even today as we try to adult daily… we are all people. We are all still here trying to do our best to live a fruitful productive life, and for the most part, to be good people. We seem to forget that end goal and seem to focus on the differences, the divide, instead of remembering what we knew when we were kids… it really as simple as extending a hand and an invite. Honestly, the more and more I think about it, I really think we all need to watch our little kids and grandkids more, learn the lessons they know in the core of their being, untainted by societal issues, that, and maybe watch Sesame Street again…
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This issue appears in the ezine at www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.