Great post Sebastian. I want to add one point: spend time with people who are older and younger than yourself. This would probably constitute family for most people. I can’t explain why yet (perhaps it gives us a sense of where we are coming from and going), but occasional interactions with old people and young children always leave me feeling richer. I found these interactions especially lacking when I was working away from home in the U.S.
A brief comment, but I think there's lots of wisdom in that. I'm sitting and reflecting on it for a moment.
I think Raunak is on to something here. You can absorb a lot of wisdom, poise, and maturity from people that have been there before you, and pick up a lot of energy, fun, and spontaneity from kids.
I was in a cafe a few weeks ago and a young kid was going around with his finger like a gun going, "bang! bang!" at people. Most of the adults were ignoring him, but I ducked under the table and put up my finger to shoot back - 'bang! bang!"
Anyway, we got into a little shoot-out, and everyone was laughing and having a nice time. Reflecting on that, interactions with people of different ages... yeah, it's good stuff. Cheers for the comment Raunak, that's worth thinking about.
Two weeks ago, I wrote "Damn Inbox - I'm Not Doing Anything Until It's Empty" - and then I cleared it out.
Now the sucker is back up to 45 messages. How'd that happen?
I think here's what happened -
1. My email volume has been going up, and I haven't adjusted to a new routine for it. Before I'd go into my inbox, clear a third of it when I had free time waiting for something, and then do that twice more in the day, and it'd be empty at the end of the day. Now, I'm going to need to set aside more time for it.
2. I'm answering/replying/writing a lot more emails, so it feels like it should be empty - but then I'm leaving one or two messages there that weren't there at the end of the day. This is like spending more money than you've got coming in - it's going to catch up with you sooner or later.
My heart broke and melted at the same time. I was listening from the top of the stairs during a playdate between my daughter Zoe, her BFF, and her other good friend. Her BFF kept complaining about the third friend who was 2 years younger than the two, "Why does Joey (name changed) have to be here? He's a baby and no fun. I bet he'll just mess things up." Joey's feelings were obviously hurt. Before I could process what was happening within the group dynamics I heard my daughter say directly and plainly, "Suzy (name changed), you are being mean. I know you are a nice person but if you keep acting this way Joey will think you are mean too, and no one will want to play with you." Suzy stopped being mean and they all played together without further incident.
My heart broke because at 6 years old, my kid was already experiencing and navigating through bullying behavior. (This wasn't the first time Suzy had tried to exclude others from their play group). How does it come to be that these beautiful children, blank slates of new beings, were already picking on each other and making others feel unwelcome. Remember life as a six year old? All you wanted to do was fit in and be included in your social group. And yet, I had a brave daughter who risked being ostracized from the only world she knew, to right a social wrong.
I've asked Zoe many times why she continues to want to play with Suzy who can be mean, and she replied with such sweet and simple wisdom, "I do bad things sometimes and you still love me." My heart melted. How can I argue with the natural law of love? Universal love finally made sense to me.
Imagine if we, as adults, adopted that philosophy. If we loved each person we met, the same way we loved our own children. Wow! My mind was blown. I forgive my daughter for her mistakes because I love her. Could I apply that same unconditional love to all of mankind? Philosophically my higher brain knows this is the right way to live but my sometimes-louder reactionary lower brain likes to mutter 'idiot driver' when someone cuts me off on the road.