The Best Teachers in Life
There I was, 10 am, sitting on the runway in the very back row waiting for my plane to Atlanta to take off. The engine roars and we speed up. You know the drill. Soon enough we'll be in the air and a few hours later I'll be far away from home.
But sitting right in front of me was 2 of the greatest teachers life will ever throw my way. A couple of kids, probably 4 and 5 years old. Neither one of them have ever flown on a plane before. New situation. I imagine butterflies in their bellies. It's a bit scary to be so little and used to being on the ground and then thrown into the air. Pure excitement and a mix of dread.
The engine roar and takeoff to me was just another flight. To them, though...it was pure joy! The second that engine screamed and we sped up, the kids were screaming so loud with delight. And it just kept going and going and going. Belly laughs (the best kind of laugh)...and squeals of bliss.
And I couldn't help but smile and laugh along with them. My face was hurting and my sides were a bit sore from all the laughter. It was basically full on happiness for the entire ascent...
Kids are the best teachers, right? They live life with no expectations. They look at things differently than adults do. I see a spoon and it's something I use to get ice cream in my mouth. Kids see a spoon and they see not only a way to eat ice cream, but they see a way to throw peas at each other. They lick it and stick it on their noses. They try and bend it to see how strong they are. They whack each other with it. So many possibilities with a simple spoon.
Those kids on this airplane ride were a reminder to live my life more like a child. How many things like air travel do I take for granted? I mean, I'm 35,000 ft in the air, in a big metal machine, reading a book on my iPad. I went from Kansas City to Atlanta in 2 hours...through the air. It would have taken me 12 hours by car. How could I ever take this amazing experience for granted?
And I've been thinking ever since about all the other amazing things I take for granted. Just looking around me right now I'm sitting outside at the Land of a Thousand Hills coffee shop in Atlanta where I'm typing up this blog post for you to read. I can feel some amazing wind blowing in my face that reminds me life is always moving. I can smell some amazing coffee as well as some wonderful spring flowers that only a few months ago were hibernating in the winter. I'm listening to an amazing album called Blood Moon by a band called The Many Rivers Ensemble. They recorded this somewhere and I can stream it via Spotify anywhere I want. Think about all the things that work together in our bodies just to take a breath...my mind is blown just thinking about this. Then add to the fact that we're on a ball that's floating in space and orbiting around another ball that's super hot and keeps us from freezing to death. There are really an infinite number of things that we take for granted every single day.
But not kids. Kids are passionately curious. They seek joy and happiness and pleasure at all costs. They ask so many questions because they just want to know things. They squeeze anything they can from life. They're surprised and quick to wonder at the world around us. My 8 year old delights at the sight of a butterfly and I overlook them so often. My 6 year old is constantly dancing and twirling and moving in free ways while I rush from one place to the next.
Life constantly throws itself in my path...and how much have I missed staring at my phone? How much life have I missed because I didn't feel like leaving the house? How much have I missed out on because I look at life through the same lenses, and never seek to find new perspectives?
This post is to serve as a reminder to be more childlike. To seek new perspectives. To find ways to marvel at the world around me. Explore and play with life. My most favorite memories all involve times when I've said yes to something new and stepped outside of my bubble. The times where I went in completely open and ready for whatever life wanted to bring my way. Basically, when I lived like a child. Kids are joy seekers and I want to be a joy seeker, too.
Care to join me?