Lesson No. 2 in the 2016 Trilogy of Change

“We should all act more like kindergarteners,” is a quote from one of my podcasts of 2016, and it came about in the conversation with our guest who started a non-profit that teaches art in schools where art programs have been cut. I think we were talking about her experiences working with young children and I mentioned my son who would soon be embarking upon his journey to kindergarten. Continuing on with the 2016 Trilogy of Change, I would like to now share lesson number two which is based on my experience of observing a kindergartener.

Kids of this age group approach the world with an innocent lack of inhibitions. Kindergarteners are honest. They speak their mind and are *delightfully unfiltered. They find joy in simple things. Kindergarteners are hyper-focused on their relationships and not yet consumed by a desire for money, or power, or popularity. Their actions, whether good or bad, are genuine and intentional.

They are also mature enough to be somewhat self-aware.  They feel pride. They can express gratitude for positive reinforcement and recognition of their achievements.  And, despite often being labeled for having short attention spans, they are genuinely interested in listening to others.  They are often listening when you think they are not.

This year observing my son’s transition into kindergarten has enlightened me. The first day of school was intimidating. As he walked into the large gym for the morning assembly and saw hundreds of people he didn’t know, he paced back toward me for guidance. He was still excited and ready to take on his new world, but he wanted some reassurance. He wanted a guide and a plan, not an easy out or escape.

For the first time, he realized that the world is a lot bigger than him.  And, in that realization he still forged ahead with his head up asking “Where’s my class? I want to see my new friends. Mom, will you stand in the back with the other parents and watch me?”

I loved watching him in this moment.

I loved it because he showed tenacity in vulnerability. He showed that there’s no shame in leaning on others and asking for a little nudge in the right direction.  He showed humility, strength and eagerness to learn, and to listen.  

Here’s my tip for 2017: WWKD: What would a Kindergartener do?

Take some time to mull on how you approach each new day, your relationships, your work, your attitude in general. Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable when it’s appropriate, or are you overly guarded? Do you give people an honest answer when they ask you a question? Do you listen to others’ perspectives? Do you set your ego aside and ask for help when needed? Is fear keeping you from your goals?

*P.S. Their unfiltered-ness is delightful most of the time.

*P.P.S. Okay, if I’m being really honest their unfiltered way is delightful about 50% of the time (on a good day). But, that’s another blog post.