“Not with the phone, Mummy. Look at me with your eyes”. So said the (nearly three-year-old) daughter to her mother. Wow!
One of those moments in time. An appreciation of the now. If we notice. If we stop to contemplate, stop to embrace, this, like the other infinite number of amazing experiences we are exposed to daily. Yet with pervasive technology immersing us almost incessantly, we do need to be deliberate and contemplate, appreciate, discover gratitude, to reconnect with humanity, to learn that in a kind moment of unbridled attention, our consciousness changes, and life can be good. Moment by moment.
Meantime children, most especially those who are yet to become too inhibited by inevitable adult imperatives, are a great source of wisdom. They play, they create, they learn, they tell the Emperor he is wearing no clothes. So we adults can be wise to listen.
Now back to the quote. Note that it was not simply “look at me!” (greetings to Kath and Kim fans). “Look at me with your eyes”. Let’s enjoy this special moment together, let’s connect, let’s communicate in the most profound yet simple way. As the neuroscientists tell us, once we can feel safe in our surroundings, and our body’s physiology confirms that, we are able to optimise our social engagement. When a child feels safe, loved and respected, they love to engage socially. And so the joy of life is being learned, in such young people. Such lessons set them up for a successful life.
So how many adults practise such a simple interaction? How many are safe enough, loved enough and respected enough? How many are deliberate enough, to take those moments, and connect with another human, with tenderness, with patience, with joy?
Make the time to connect with another human being. Every day, in this authentic way. Maybe it starts with the eyes. However, if their gaze waivers, they are not perceiving safety, and you may need to desist. Or treat them with kindness and the connection may require attention via another modality (listening, gentle touching, or non-threatening body language). Importantly, as opportunities arise, connect, with kind intent. The world will be a better place as more and more people do so.