Through the Eyes of a Child
Through the Eyes of a Child
On my website (betterplace-consulting.com) you can find a blog post I wrote a couple years ago called “Remember the Fridge.” It reminds us of a time when we were rewarded with recognition of a good deed, good grade, or art masterpiece by having it placed on the most hallowed of display pieces, the family refrigerator. I distinctly remember the pride I felt when a spelling test or 2nd grade art work went up.
Fellow tribesmen and women, as I increase my daily search for more joy, I find myself more and more admiring the way young people look at the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily speaking about those brooding teenagers out there (although many have incredible ideas about how they are going to change the world). I’m talking about the youngest of our species. I spoke with a kindergarten teacher recently who has an incredible sense of appreciation because her 5- and 6-year-old students provide her daily reminders of seeing the world through a child’s eyes.
It warms my heart to see folks on social media post pictures of a beautiful sunset or baby ducks (who doesn’t love baby ducks!) or anything truly beautiful. I have long given up posting anything political on social media. Whereas I very much advocate for more joy in my daily life, I truly advocate for more happy and fun in my social media postings. Imagine a world where there were no political leaning posts or bad news postings, even if only for 1 day. I have a future piece in the works where I talk about moments, but I would like to offer a humble suggestion dear friends. A 7-day challenge. Before I say what it is, please don’t message me about how last decade “fill in the blank” challenges are. You know you all did the ice bucket challenge when that was a thing! Stay with me. A 7-day challenge to find 1 moment in the day and gaze upon it through the eyes of your inner 5 year old. The awe and wonder that we all had when things were new. When we didn’t know or care about politics, world hunger, left vs. right or any of that other stuff. A single moment a day where you stop and appreciate something for just being something amazing. Mine came yesterday. We were at a certain sports facility in Brighton where a great deal of our time (did I also say money?) goes for travel sports. People were trying to file in and out of the building and as I was talking to a parent and trying to navigate through the baseball and soccer players and parents and siblings and guests with chairs, I saw someone holding the door for people. They held that door open for a long time. Like 20 to 30 people long. I stopped for the briefest of moments to appreciate the fact that someone stopped their hustle and bustle and just literally sat there holding the door open for people. That was my “through the eyes of a child” moment for the day. What made the moment perfect was when I finally got up to the door, the person holding it was my son! Every moment of pride, love, pride and more pride came rushing through me. As great as that was, that wasn’t the best part. As my son got up I looked back to see another young man I do not know, who saw my boy doing this sit down where Thomas was sitting and continue the door holding. That was…perfect.
My friends, I don’t believe in over-analyzing things. I take them as I find them. It has helped me maintain balance in my life. If we find things each day, if only for a moment or 2 that we can truly appreciate just for the sake of itself, perhaps we can all find more and more moments like that. Those thoughts can turn to actions. Something as simple as holding a door open for strangers. Imagine a world where we see things through the eyes of our inner child! My wife will tell you I’m a big kid. So, I dare you. No, I double dog dare you to try this for 7 days.
Steve Gwisdalla is the Owner, Chief Happiness Officer and biggest kid in the room at Better Place Consulting, a coaching and small business consulting firm located in Dexter, MI. Reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org