02 June 2016

Though the eyes of a child

From 'The Present' @jacobfrey.de
The stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and I spent the last several days with our grandchildren behind the Zion Curtain. Would you believe me if I told you we didn't enjoy our time with them? I didn't think so. We loved every minute of it. It was tough to leave last night, especially when we were staring down the barrel of a heinous delay on what was already a heinous red-eye flight but that's a rant for another time.

It was a busy trip, especially since we were celebrating our grandson's third birthday. There was some time to relax though. At one point during some downtime, my grandson and I were sprawled on the couch, pondering our next move. I, frankly, was waiting for the start of a Cubs game but channel surfing in his house really isn't an option. Apparently, reruns of Top Gear (let me be perfectly clear - I mean reruns with the Three Idiots, not the rebooted travesty that premiered last Monday - I lasted less than seven minutes through that dreck - my annual prostate exam is more pleasant - The Grand Tour cannot get here soon enough) and Ridiculousness are verboten for a three year old. I'm not sure I understand that one - what better way, other than Jackass is there to teach an adventurous kid what might go horribly wrong for him if he gets a little too crazy? I know, #grandfatheroftheyear

I then remembered a short film I had seen a few weeks ago that had hit my Facebook feed. I thought it might be a good one for him to watch. You may have seen it. It's called "The Present" and it is four minutes of perfection. It, for me, is akin to the opening 10 minutes of "Up." If that opening sequence doesn't move you, we can all agree that you have no soul. I wondered how my grandson might react to the film and how he did taught me a lesson. Here's the video:

As the boy and his puppy went outside to play at the end of the film, my grandson asked me the following question:

Grandpa, what are they going to go play?

At that moment, it struck me hard how he did not see what I dare say all us adults saw in both the puppy and the boy. We saw what was missing. We saw the boy's frustration at a gift he saw as flawed. We saw what was wrong. My grandson saw a puppy having fun with a red ball. He saw a boy and his puppy going outside to play and it was important to him to know what game they might be playing next. Through the eyes of a three year old, there was nothing missing. There were no flaws. He saw that these two were going to do something fun.

What if we all saw the world the way three year olds do? From what I've seen, they don't see the things that make us different, like skin color or a disability. They don't see what's wrong. They have an uncanny ability to make things work. Toss a few snacks their way and they are all good. What if things worked that way in your place of work?

Look, I get it. Life gets complex mighty fast. There are significant challenges in our world (#NeverTrump) and it's going to take a little more than the wisdom of three year olds to solve for those. But what if we took a step back from time to time and looked at things through the eyes of a child. Instead of seeing what's wrong, take time to see what's time. Take time to wonder what you would do if you could go play for a little while. The answers may surprise you.

No comments: