To understand the context. It’s a letter to my little girl Hala, who is just over 1 years old. I plan to write a few more for her and maybe one day she’ll find something helpful from it.
To my dearest Hala,
As children our world is full of wonder – every little thing is an amazing discovery. I remember as a baby you used to find the most ordinary things incredible, like a piece of chocolate wrapping you found. I watched as you picked it up, looked at it, crumpled it, even took a bite at it then dropped it on the floor. After that you did the same thing over and over again.
You were so engaged – it was funny and very cute to watch but it made me wonder why you where so amazed by it. Watching closely, I realised your chocolate wrapping routine wasn’t repetitive – every view, sound and touch of the crumpling paper was different. It helped me remember that everything we do and every moment we have, even if it looks repetitive is always uniquely different.
Really everything is a new experience but when we get older we tend to miss or forget that. Sometimes it makes us sad because we start believing we’re stuck in a situation that doesn’t end and we fail to see all the differences happening right before us. We miss all the different moments and even a whole host of potential ones because we start believing that some experiences are more important than others. The ones that are not so important like crumpling a shiny gold and silver chocolate wrapping are dismissed, forgotten or not even acted upon. It takes a whole lot of practice but we eventually learn to stop ourselves from crumpling the chocolate wrapping paper and miss all the joy and amazement that goes with it.
We adults get so convinced we need to accomplish something that simply enjoying things becomes less and less important. After a while, we want to get things done as fast as possible hoping we’ll have more time to enjoy it all later. The problem is we become so used to putting our enjoyment later that even when our later comes, we’ve forgotten how to enjoy it. So we scramble around looking for some new thing that will help us find it again. But it’s not something to find or even accomplish – really it’s already here because everything that happens is an amazing experience. We adults just forget how to see it that way.
When I was a boy my teachers always wrote the words: “day-dreamer” on all my early report cards – I was still being amazed by things but they probably thought it was much more important that I start doing things. I must have been a bit slow on the doing side of things. Adults are just like that, they feel better about themselves and other people when they believe things are being done. They’ll usually call it ‘taking action’ or ‘moving forward’ but most of the time they just end up going in circles. Eventually your Daddy started doing things too. It’s what everyone else was doing, so it must have seemed right. But Daddy also lost seeing the amazing in things and other things got lost or forgotten too.
When I was really young I felt I knew what would happen from one thing to the next before other people could and also remembered feeling connected to things much bigger than me. Once I made the clouds move away from the sun, maybe it was by chance but what matters is I believed it and felt nothing was impossible.
I know one day too sweety, you will be more interested in doing, achieving, and progressing to something or somewhere better but I want you to know there is nothing wrong with that at all too. It’s all part of how we learn and grow up. But sometimes everyone feels like they have too much on or too much to do and it can really get us down. So if by chance you feel bad, pick up something like the piece of chocolate paper wrapping, scrunch it up and even bite it. Because I want you to remember the amazing is still here in everything and no matter what anyone tells you – everything and anything is always possible!