Sunday, August 29, 2010

Who Has Time for Reflection!

Enjoying my foamy cappuccino at the local café, I watched a young child in her stroller being completely ignored by the adults she was with, who were both talking at such a rate you’d think they hadn’t had a grown-up conversation in months. You might also think the toddler would complain, but no, she was content to contemplate her world. First her toes, then her fingers, then the parasol tassels fluttering gently above her, then back to her toes, before gazing, at length, at the bird hopping around the table in search of a stray croissant crumb. I couldn’t help but enjoy her quietly reflective spirit and like most young children, her ability for natural contemplation.
Adults and older children are usually busy and involved in ‘doing’ or anticipating, or being stimulated by activity, and, (as was perfectly demonstrated before my eyes), will tend to sweep any dreamy toddler away from a savoring moment with a “Come on, we’ve got to hurry!” or “Stop daydreaming!” or “We haven’t got time!”
Stillness, time for refection, contemplation, just BEING in the moment, is for most people largely absent and not something we tend to prioritize in our day-today lives. Yet it is a very basic need if we are to effectively handle the stress, uncertainties and over-stimulation of today’s world. What a conundrum – no time to implement the one thing that would help us to handle our perpetual ‘no time’!
Maybe what we really need to do is turn to our little ones for examples and inspiration and reminders to take a moment for contemplation, reflection, even awe and wonder at the moment we are in. Maybe then we will have the experience of making more sense of it!

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