Staying grounded is a manner of perspective. Proven so true when my student Lucy bounced through the door and revealed her sparkly pink T-shirt that read, “Dinosaurs 300 million years! Humans 2.” That fact will pepper some perspective in your day. Not so worried about that overdue car payment anymore, now are we.
Perspective is a good thing, a macro rather than micro way of thinking. And in today’s world, perspective is very much a lost art. We wake, dress, impress, shop, compare, snub, scroll, grapple, and scurry through our day. Every moment documented and acknowledged only if posted to Facebook or Instagram. A willing “Truman” like existence is now our idea of success?
It’s very easy to lose perspective in today’s media tornado. However, my vocation has certainly offered a haven where perspective is again palpable. Leave your phone at home, and come spend a morning with some toddlers – you will have perspective oozing back into your life as fast as a GoGurt in a two year olds hand.
Toddlers have perspective; instinctively they live on Caribbean time. Remember Caribbean time? Put yourself at an ocean edge restaurant watching a sunset. After a minute or two you become impatient. Where is the waiter? What are the specials? Why don’t I have my Bacardi? The sun is setting! I need my drink, so I can relax and enjoy the sunset!
It takes about three to four days to get acclimated to Caribbean time, but you do. Perspective – what is the hurry any way – no problem – isn’t it amazing how the sunlight is hitting the water right now. “Hello, may I offer you a drink before dinner?” What? Oh, sorry I have not had a chance to look at the menu.” In the Caribbean, no one is in a hurry. Your breath slows, your shoulders relax, and your mind slows down allowing what is present to come into focus.
Caribbean time? Watch a preschooler go from a car to the front door. A mere 20 second walk to us is a ten minute Caribbean saunter to a three year old. Making a pile of pebbles, picking leaves off a bush, finding a stick, drawing in dirt, and running anywhere. Infinite magical possibilities explode everywhere around them. What front door?
Preschoolers exist in Caribbean time because their brains hum at a frequency akin to us in hypnosis. They are addictively present in the moment exploring, creating, discovering, and finding the beauty of the world around them. We should take notice of their world and force our brain back into a state of present. Don’t become lost in your grey tornado of thoughts, and panic that it is not posted. Being present creates authentic conversations, and solutions. At the end of the day you will reflect back with clear memories and rich experiences.
So adults put your phone down. Go outside. Deep breathes and get back your perspective. Remember “Dinasours 300 - Humans 2.”