Somewhere between the ages of 5 and 90 we seem to lose sight of what living is…… When you are born you are simply content to exist… To live, to survive, but as time moves forward and indeed our thinking, we change to become creatures obsessed with doing…. Simply living no longer ok.
How does that happen….? It is a funny old thing because ultimately life is just about living. You don’t see rabbits contemplating their five year plan… You see them hopping happily among the buttercups and leaping for their burrows the moment danger appears. You don’t see dogs discussing the stock market or the strength of the pound. They are too enthralled with the latest stick! Too engrossed in this moment by moment survival… You don’t often hear of animals with mental health problems…..
So what is it that makes us change from animals of being to animals of doing…? I think the only conclusion can be that the structure of our society, the shape of our world, calls for us to become a commodity. To become worth something in a monetary sense. In order to contribute to the fabric of society with whatever vocation becomes your calling and to fund our social system!
So at 3 years old we set our little lives and their pudgy fingers towards the treadmill. In their brand new shoes bought at over inflated prices! Ready to shape them to a mould they won’t necessarily fit… Then at 5 we do it again, at 11, 16, 18 and finally at 21 when they still have no idea what they want to do. We push them towards a career they may not like…. Lead them to the well of wealth, of happiness, of meaning….. A well that actually offers none of that…. and is very easy to fall in to!
I don’t know about you… But I think we should be teaching our children the value of their souls… The amazingness of their empathy, kindness, compassion and self belief. The beauty of their dancing, their songs and their art. We should be shaping our children to live a hopeful existence. One where their individuality is allowed to contribute to the fabric of the universe. Whether they are an academic genius or a dream inspiring story teller. We should be allowing them time to simply be sometimes. After all, don’t we all yearn for the sunny days where we can lie in the buttercups gazing at the bees…?
I know we are all driven by different motivations, moved to engage with life by different values and different experiences…. And I value each and every one of those personalities. The problem is, our society is only geared towards shaping the academic. Only driven to reward the competitive. And then only reward them with money… When for me the ultimate currency is contented love. Is that reserved only for those that can paint hope on the horizon and fill the world with song?
We often read about how when we are old and our life lies behind us…. How we wish we had had more time. More time to be with the ones we love….. When we are young that is all we want. When do we lose sight of love? When do we lose sight of the simple art of living?
Look after you, look after each other