Monday, September 07, 2015

Spend time with a child or an elder: Day 5: Mindfulness Challenge


There's nothing like spending time with children or the aged to remind us about what life is really about. 

Perhaps it is so because childhood and old age are at the two opposite ends of life. 

The one is innocent, pure, untouched by the cares and stresses that bear down upon the rest of us so heavily.

The other, having come to the close of a long day, has realised that all the stresses that it carried about were for nothing, and that what it now has in its grasp, whether true companionship, the joy of loved ones, or knowledge gained over decades of living, is the only thing worth holding on to.

Meanwhile, those of us in the middle live harried lives, anxious to tick off items on our to-do lists, eager to make more money so we can add to our possessions. We run faster and faster, and find that all that effort is required to ensure that we stay in the same place, and don't fall back. 

We feel increasingly tired and fatigued, and long to lay down the burdens we carry.

Speaking to children and the elderly can offer us a reprieve if we would only grasp it. 

These conversations can be rich and loaded with significance, reminding us of what we once were, and of what we will soon be, if we don't succumb to illness brought on by our own excesses.

Children, especially, live in the here and now. Their world is limited by their curiosity, enhanced by their joy. Why should they worry about what the morrow will bring? Whether their needs will be met? 

The aged too know better. If their backs are bent, it is not by illness alone. It is also by the rich experience of having lived their lives, of having seen the world spin along on its axis, altering lives, changing histories, trampling destinies. 

They know the truth that eventually, everything passes, and it doesn't pay to be too attached to anything.

If you have a child or an aged person in your life, make the most of it now.
Take time out to talk to them. Take time out also to listen.

And prepare to find your life enriched in more ways than one.

PS. For those who came in late, the Challenge is organised by the kind folks at Kindspring.


  1. This elder person is just waiting for the day that her grandson actually starts using words so that I can understand him. He certainly understands me, but his babbling often leaves me wondering.

  2. I find the waiting period until a child learns to speak intolerably long too. But the waiting is always rewarded. And if you are privileged enough to be loved by a child, then the conversations will always be fun, deep and adorable, all at the same time.

    Hang in there, Denise, any day now, you're headed for one of the most enjoyable times that Life blesses us with.



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