I am constantly surprised by how much I can learn from my kids.
I minored in Psychology in university and have taken many classes on developmental psychology. Still nothing is better school than brining up kids of your own. The whole nurture or nature question takes on whole new, and far more important meaning.
One of the things that surprises me the most is the way kids can wake up in a fantastic mood. It’s not unlike small children to open their eyes and immediately smile. They walk around very chatty, but you can still tell they are tired.
Contrast this with the people you see at work. I know people who will not talk to you until after 10am. When you start joking around with them in the morning as you enter the building, they will literally say, “It’s way too early for that man.”
At what point in our lives do we learn that morning is bad? When do we learn that we should hate the places we work? When do we stop getting excited about the coming day?
Watching my three-year-old is more motivational than any book I’ve read or tape I’ve listened to. He has no fear. His legs are covered in bruises. He always has a new bump somewhere on his head. Still, to him, the entire world is a playground. He’ll say anything, do anything.
I don’t even like to initiate a conversation with the people sitting next to me on the train. I never asked a girl out in high school. I was afraid of roller coasters until I was twelve. I’m not alone. Among the suited people I sit with on the train each morning, no one talks to each other.
Occasionally there are business conversations on mobile phones but the people talking are far too serious. They take themselves too seriously.
I’m trying very hard to encourage my children’s sense of creativity. I may not instill enough rules in them. I may not make sure they hold their forks the proper way. But I still try to get them to do the things they are too afraid to try. I only wish someone would tell me when I was young, “Don’t worry. It won’t kill you.” I only hope their schools do not screw them up and turn them into ultra-conformists.
But that is where I want to be. That is where we all need to be. We need to turn the world from a place with too many rules to our own personal playground.