003 – LOOKING VS SEEING
Whenever I’m confronted with an opportunity to teach my kids an important life lesson the first image that comes to mind is that of an old Zen master and his prized pupil anxiously awaiting instruction. Then reality sets in and I realize that I am neither a Zen master nor are my kids the least bit interested in anything I have to say. Sigh. Conversely I have discovered that if I disguise the lesson in the form of a game then I’m free to impart as much wisdom as I can muster. Which brings me to life lesson number one: Looking and seeing are not the same thing.
In the frenetic pace of life we tend to miss a lot. As we sleepwalk through our daily lives jumping from one demand to the next there is often little time to simply Be. By teaching our kids ( and ourselves perhaps ) to become more aware of our surroundings we can begin to see with greater clarity the beauty and wonder that resides around the edges of our everyday lives. During one of our family’s cross country journeys I would randomly ask my kids to stop what they were doing and describe to me in as much detail as possible everything they could visibly observe. By simply shifting their attention away from the distractions they were able to center themselves and see the world around them in a way they would have otherwise missed. “That young Padawan is the difference between looking and seeing”, I would say in my best Yoda voice.