I spoke to a class of engineers here in India recently and one student asked me what the biggest learning or realization I’ve had so far on this trip. I thought for a minute and realized it had to do with children.
I didn’t have much contact with kids in my adult life. When I went home last year I finally realized kids aren’t aliens. But I’ve put myself in contact with kids a lot during this trip. From the orphanage in Costa Rica to the one in Ecuador to the Mother Teresa home in The Philippines, to staying with wonderful families, I’ve had way more exposure to kids the past 19 months than ever before in my adult life.
Kids have taught me, or rather revealed to me, something special. It seems like kids are all born happy. They approach every single day, every single moment with the attitude of maximizing fun and happiness. This may be misguided, as I once thought it would be a ton of fun to touch a hot stove as a youngster. I was wrong…
But it’s the intention that matters. Somehow as we get older, through social pressure, through our parents, through messages in the media and advertising, through attempting to be “responsible” we change. We lose this approach toward life and move in the opposite direction. After a certain point it seems like we approach life trying not to lose what we have instead of trying to enjoy what we do have. I guess kids aren’t afraid of much, but as adults we have learned to fear so much – especially the unknown. For many, that fear is debilitating.
So, I share the video below that made me think of writing this post. This baby isn’t fearing climate change, how he’ll pay for college, whether he’ll find a wife before he’s 30, or whether it’ll rain on Wednesday. He’s too busy having the time of his life by playing with the dog during bath time. Why don’t we all try to maximize the fun and joy in every situation we are presented with, just like kids?