Yesterday evening as I watched my granddaughter, Ella have her bath and play gleefully in the water with the bubbles, I had an epiphany of sorts. Children inherently know, what we forget as adults. Don’t take life or yourself, too seriously.
Ella was lining up her plastic, multicolored links on my arm. Occasionally, one would fall and she would pick it up and put it back on my arm. She was focused, but enthusiastic. She didn’t dwell on unsuccessful attempts and celebrated successes with clapping hands and a little jig; often seeing success in failure merely because of trying the experience.
I thought of how Ella often runs instead of walks. She stomps through puddles gleefully. If allowed, cookies would be her choice for breakfast. If there’s something she doesn’t like, she pushes it aside – sometimes with emphatic enthusiasm – and moves on. She laughs at herself and with others as though life is the best game ever. The only things that are impossible are things she hasn’t tried. It was a magical, motivating experience journeying into her little mind.
There’s nothing unique of this experience. Children don’t take themselves seriously while seriously attacking life. They have moments of frustration, but persevere with cheerfulness and optimism. They pause to survey their failures and take time to celebrate successes.
Sometimes we should run instead of walk, not because we are late, but because we are enthusiastic. We should celebrate failures, simply because we tried. Once in a while we should eat cookies for breakfast. We should take our shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass, dance in the rain, watch clouds in the sky. And we should do it all with enthusiasm. Living each day as though it is our first.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” (Emerson).