It might be that kids aren’t yet jaded with the cynical world we live in. They don’t know how to dwell on the bad. They aren’t ashamed to express their emotions in the moment they feel them.
Kids can teach us all a lesson.
Here’s a real story: A little over a year ago, one of my little guys face planted into a book shelf just as we were wrapping up our bedtime routine (it sounds as gross as it was). His immediate response was a scream of agony followed by noises of complete frustration with me as I tried to clean him off to see if we needed to go to the ER (we did). But the entire time we were at the ER? Smiles. Holding my hand tightly when he was scared but letting the doctors do what they needed to do. Saying “thank you” quietly as he slurped his popsicle. Falling asleep calmly in my arms when we finally got home.
And his big brother was just as impressive. Startled when his brother started screaming. Scared when I had him in another room and confused why he was blocked from seeing it all. Calmly getting himself ready to get in the car so we could go to the ER. Keeping both of his brothers distracted. Highlighting the adventure we were about to go on (“we’re going to the ER! To see doctors! So cool!”).
Kids don’t get caught up in the “what ifs” or “could have beens.” They are literally present in every moment, fully participating and making the most of the ride.
Perhaps the greatest lesson kids can teach us is not necessarily just finding the good or making the most of every moment, but really being present to each of those moments, excited to see what it brings, and allowing yourself to be whomever you need to be at the moment.
I can think about how often this is a lesson I need to share with myself. How about you?
At this point, I know it’s cliché to hear someone say “just find the good!” or “make the most of every situation!” But I think there’s a reason why it’s cliché – it works. To make the most of any situation you have to be really part of it.
So, when it happens next, ask yourself, what would the child version of me do in this situation?
You just might realize you don’t have to search for the good or how to make the most of the situation because it might be right there in front of you.
We really like this list of 5 ideas to help you increase your gratefulness.
Consider reading Ready or Not, 2021, Here We Come!