Good afternoon everyone! Well our little Colorado oasis has warmed up to a balmy -10 outside. I suppose that is a marked improvement over the -31 it was earlier in the day. It’s been a much more mellow week than last time I wrote one of these. Work happened, school was attended by the wee Dooley’s, and a ski trip to Crested Butte was accomplished. Plans for our Spring Break trip were finished today. Tickets have been bought, hotels have been reserved, and our State Representative has been contacted. I’ll take that as a winning week any time. Irregardless, now cometh the latest and greatest edition of the Diatribe.
So an interesting moment happened this week while I was hanging out with the Boo Bear. We were playing with her hoard of toys, knickknacks, and the plethora of other things that a three year old treasures when she started talking about how her Skye dog (you know, from Paw Patrol fame) was sad. Well, I meandered over to her and took a look at the forlorn toy and I began doubting the expert tutelage she is receiving at preschool two days a week.
I’ve seen the work she brings home. I know that they have worked on recognizing facial expressions and how they relate to emotions. There is no way she could possibly have misinterpreted what I was clearly seeing. I have been interpreting facial expressions since I was but a small lad. I make a living reading facial expressions and making decisions based on what I see in people. There is no way this is sad:
Sweet Mary Mother of God! This toy is not only decidedly not sad, but it is boarding on evil. I’m not sure how this passed through our rigorous screening process that each toy goes through as it enters our home. This abhorrent toy, which is not of this realm, should be taken care of by a priest and drown in holy water. A fitting demise for trinkets of this degree of turpitude in my humble opinion.
I argued my point that Skye looks angry and not sad with the Boo Bear. Yet, she was insistent that she was sad. In exasperation I got down on my knees so I could make one final pitch to her three year old sensibilities. I looked at Skye, thinking I would describe the finer points of her facial expressions and then decisively win the argument, but his is what I saw:
Wow…I assured the Boo Bear that Skye did look sad and we decided to head to her play kitchen to cook her up a little Fruit Loop milk soup to cheer Skye up. Well, in true preschooler fashion she lost interest in the project before we had even begun boiling the delicacy on the pink and purple pretend stove but I wasn’t so quick to move on.
I was so dead set that I was right that I never even thought to look at the problem through someone else’s eyes. I knew that I was more experienced, sage, and even wizened in this area. It never occurred to me that maybe I need to view things vicariously through the eyes of another. Even if those eyes are inexperienced and close to the ground.
I’m pretty sure there’s something that we can all learn from the Boo Bear’s innocent take on the world as she sees it. Just because you feel like you know exactly what you’re talking about, you are certain that yours is the correct way, or you simply want to shush the other persons argument…doesn’t make you right.
Part of being an adult, I’m finding, is being able to step back and not just hear someone else’s opinion, but to actually listen to it. Adults have to put forth the effort to try and understand where the other person is coming from. Adults have to have the moral virtues to admit when they are wrong and respect the other person, even when you still don’t agree with them. I know from personal experience that this is waaaay harder to put into practice than it was to type it out while reclined in my chair on a frosty Saturday afternoon, but I think it’s a noble effort that is worthy of pursuit by all of us.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend America (and other readers around the globe, where ever you may be)! Don’t forget to slow down and see the world around you through the innocent eyes of a child. You never know, it just may change your perspective.
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PS – The Boy is trying his hand at blogging (or vlogging). He’s working on his content and I promised him I would link him next time!