"Once upon a time, there was a boy named Peter Pan, who decided not to grow up..."
Do you remember what it was like to be a child? I'm talking about really remembering what emotions you felt, the things that were important to you, what made you mad and what made you happy. Or, are you like most people and your childhood was merely a stepping stone to get where you are today; a foundation on which to build the rest of your life on. Do you remember what your childhood dreams were? How many actually became the doctor, the firefighter, or the President like they said they would? The thought hit me the other day how seriously we take life sometimes! Children are so innocent and honest. Have you ever tried to look at a situation like a child would? It will change your perspective entirely! Children don't generally hold grudges, they live for the present, they are brutally honest, they love completely, they wear their emotions on their sleeves and they are not afraid to dream big.
How many adults have you met lately that can boast such qualities? Today I watched as my students threw a "pretend birthday party" for me in the playroom. To an adult, they had rubber little toys, plastic lego pieces and empty play dishes; but to a child, there was a beautifully decorated birthday cake, juice, soup, rice, (of course kimchi) :), you name it... it was there. They turned off the lights and had me close my eyes, when I opened them they yelled "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!" and started singing to me. As I sat there, the thought kept coming back to me... do you love life that much? Do I take life so seriously that I can't even pretend that a rubber toy is a birthday cake? We often expect children to be act far more grown up than they really are. Why? Is it because we don't want to bother trying to remember what it felt like to be 5 years old with the world at our fingertips? To be experiencing new things absolutely everyday! I guess that's one of the glories of being a teacher, especially in kindergarten. I get to experience that everyday with my students. I get to see the lights flick on when I concept is grasped, I get to hold their hand when a simple argument feels like the end of the world to them and then I get to watch them walk away hand in hand with the other child because I "fixed" the problem and made it all better.
Randy Pausch, author of Last Lecture, said this:
"The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. "
"The questions are always more important than the answers."
"Give yourself permission to dream. Fuel your kids' dreams too. Once in a while, that might even mean letting them stay up past their bedtimes."
At his last public lecture, he said:
"My plan was this: As I spoke about childhood dreams, I'd ask everyone to close their eyes and rub their crayons in their fingers--to feel the texture, the paper, the wax. Then I'd have them bring their crayons up to their noses and take a good, long whiff. Smelling a crayon takes you right back to childhood, doesn't it? ...When I need to go back in time, I put it under my nose and take another hit."
Randy Pausch died of pancreatic cancer in 2008 at the age of 48, leaving behind a wife and three children. He gave his "last lecture" as a goodbye to his children; telling them everything he wouldn't be able to tell them when they grew up. The book was complied from his lecture. I strongly recommend that you add this book to your current book list. Its an absolute favorite of mine. Just what is possible when you stop taking life so seriously and just appreciating each and everyday for what it is... life.
"To live would be an awfully big adventure."
So there you go... try looking at life as a child would and see what you come up with.
you heard me... carpe the diem! :)
(for those illiterate in Latin, it means seize the day)