Do We See Each Other?

“Daddy, look at me. Look at this. Look at what I am doing. Look at what I did. Look at what I made. Look at what I made for you.”

“Airplane” by Ana

We ask our children to sit still, to be quiet, to focus, to listen, and to pay attention. We expect them to be mindful of others and their surroundings. We want them to be polite and caring and compassionate.

Yet, we are often so busy and so hurried in our lives that we cannot exhibit these same behaviors ourselves.

We rush. We multitask. We place achievement and accomplishment over presence and stillness. We value more over better, quantity over quality. We work. We hustle. We grind. We do not stop until we are sick or injured, and, even then, we want a quick fix and a speedy recovery.

All the while, life is happening and we are missing it. Sure, we have pictures of it. We took videos. We posted about it. We did everything we could do, except to experience it.

Our children deserve better. We deserve better. Slow down. Take a moment. Breathe. Notice. Observe. Be present. Be gracious. Allow yourself to see your children, to truly see them. Give them that gift. Give yourself that gift. Let them see you seeing them. We will all be better for it.

“As in life, so too it is in budo. As in budo, so too it is in life.”

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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