Quote of the Day: “Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind.” —Buddha
Some things we can learn from a two year old:
- Do everything with gusto. Eat, play, run, laugh, cry. At the end of the day, you will rest well, and tomorrow you can attack life afresh. Oliver Wendell Holmes said “life is action and passion.” A two year old lives this way.
- No matter how angry you become with someone, you can always forgive them. And the sooner the better. A two year old is constantly forgiving and quickly forgetting the innumerable daily trespasses upon her dignity and freedom.
- There is no purpose in, nor time for regret. The poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote “of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.” This phrase is unknown to the toddler.
- You should be wary of strangers, yet still have a pleasant greeting for them.
- Very few two year olds have exposure to Thoreau, yet they know that joy is not attained through accumulation of material goods. A twenty dollar toy or a plastic spoon–they are equals to the two year old. She will have fun with either.
- Materialistic she may not be, but she knows to protect her stuff. Woe be to the one who tries to take her bear or blanket or plastic spoon.
- We should be happy with our appearance. A two year old’s self image is unaffected whether buck naked or in her best dress, freshly brushed hair or applesauce filled, protruding gut or dirty face.
- Worry should not be part of your life. Things will either work out or they won’t. Depending on how they go, you will laugh or you will cry. Then something new will happen. There are no gray haired two year olds. Ironically, a two year old can cause the appearance of gray hairs to accelerate on a 38 year old man.
- You can learn all manner of great things if you listen carefully and watch intently those around you. At two, the growth of vocabulary, physical ability and general sophistication is staggering. This all comes from observing their world and the people who inhabit it. Sadly, they gradually learn to neither listen well nor watch closely thereby simultaneously dooming their state of zen as they use it to grow.
- And finally, we should live in the present. The (original) Buddha counseled “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate on the present moment.” In this, a two year old is as a monk. There is no solace in going outside in five minutes. It must be now or the moment is lost forever. And who knows what may happen in five minutes. The time to act on an idea is immediately.
TB has learned a lot from a two year old, and so can you. I think I might even put some of this newfound knowledge to work. Starting tomorrow.