I am thrilled to have a guest blogger this week. A.N. Persaud is an educator and poet. His first book of poetry, Footprint of an Elephant, was published last year, and his works have recently been published in Nest Magazine and Surfacing.
“..within the core of each of us is the child we once were. This child constitutes the foundation of what we have become, who we are, and what we will be.” ― Rhawn Joseph
The wonderful moment that I am given to play with you, build with you, watch you in your uncurbed enthusiasm and unchecked candor is, I know, but a moment. Of course, there is a part of me that wishes to see this 6-year-old self forever, play with you, laugh with you, learn with you. But life is growth. You will always be you and this child-in-wonder today will be part of the man that you will one day be. Grow we will then. And if I can be a part of your growth, allow me to offer you these three lessons gleaned from our Lego building session a few days ago. We have already spoken of these in a vocabulary more appropriate to your 6-year old self. One day, in a time not too far away, when you will read these words, I hope they will serve as a mere reminder rather than a lesson anew.
Attention and Care
When we care for something, in the subjective, archetypal world, we tend, in our objective world, to take care of it. We move from the sentiment of care to the active possession of care vis a vis a person, place, thing, etc. We bestow this great psychological tool – attention – on the object of our caring. We attend to it. We pay attention.
In whatever we endeavor in life, we need to take care of our task and give the highest limits of our attention to it. We need not be rough, abrupt or haphazard, but temperate, subtle and meaningful in our words and our actions. And in this world in which you grow, attention and the ability to wield it, will be golden. It is like a weapon that has fallen out of style and use in a gadget-ridden world, and those trained in its art, rare disciples of a forgotten way. Be a disciple in taking care and giving attention proper. And, in the short term, it means less missteps and an easier time putting together that Star Wars Desert Skiff with Sarlacc!
Overcoming the Animal Instincts
I remember the He-Man episode, The Monster Within, when Man-E-Faces comes to realize that it is he that needs to control his monster persona and not vice versa. We’ve watched this episode a few times. You may remember it as the one in which He-Man beats up a bunch of bad guys again.
Our own beastly instincts can come out when we are faced with something unfamiliar, which challenges us. Anger and frustration can be little monsters if they control our reactions, speech or demeanor. Rather than giving way to the more animal aspect of our selves, we need to train and to tame these little monsters. In the long-term, it is called humanity. For today, we call it less broken or missing pieces for Desert Skiffs, Brick Calendars or Zords. Here, care and attention also help!
We both know that your older brother is somewhat of a Lego virtuoso. Sometimes, we are faced with challenges that push us to the limits of our current capacities. Sometimes, we need to dig down, push past the false limit and overcome. I have seen this from you and your brother and how wonderful! This is the growth of life, not the number of days on the planet or other ephemera. Other times, however, when we undertake one of these seemingly Herculean tasks, we need to accept guidance. We can ask for help or we can humbly accept it when it is offered. Knock, Akshay, and the door will be opened. [Not knock down the Lego project and storm off when the said brother offers a hand.]
Sometimes in life, we make mistakes or missteps; sometimes, we are simply out of our element, where the known landmarks are no longer present. Sometimes we need to learn a lesson and are in need of a teacher, a master or a guide (or someone who knows where the next Lego piece goes or how to put it there), like Master Shifu to Po, the Sorceress to He-Man, Obi-Wan to Luke. Sometimes, we all need help – and that’s not a bad thing. It’s called friendship, collaboration, harmony, love. And all great things are built with it.
As long as I know where the next piece goes, my guiding hand you will always have.
If you are in NYC and would like to Do Work That Matters, join me on Friday evening for a meet-up: click here.
For more inspiration, become a member of the Conscious Life Facebook Community here.
Would you like to receive these posts directly in your inbox? Click here to sign up.