As the Led Hand Becomes the Leading Hand
7 lifelong lessons that my toddler taught me.
Photo by Author
“Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.”
~ The Holy Bible
The family devotion time has just ended on that Monday morning. Shortly afterwards, my beloved three years old godson walked in with his mum. Ever inquisitive, he has on several instances floored me with his barrage of unending questions. Repeatedly, I will be left wondering, "Where did this young man got the idea for this query that got me flunked?" He will continue rummaging the house or livening the compound with his chants and restless antics.
His first question to me on that day was, "Grandpa, do you like Bugatti?" I turned from my phone, gazing at him for some seconds before responding. I must not dampen his zest. So, I calmly replied him, "No, the Camry is OK for me." Apparently disappointed by my poor car preferences, he went on undaunted as if to further assure me of his promise. "OK, I will buy a jet for you." How do I tell him that cars are the least of my concerns now? My wonder has not ended, this time I could only reply, "Amen."
Just a little over three years ago, I was cuddling him in in my arms. When he began to pick his first steps, he has often insisted on securing his finger in my reassuring grip. This same child is now extending the same favor to me. I’ve always known it, that, it’s just in a matter of time when my guided hand becomes my leading and guiding hand. And before my eyes, I watched this unfolding. He has just received one of those knockoff toy radio Bugatti model from his dad. Enthralled, he has promised to buy a real life of same version for his grandpa.
It has been just like yesterday when his clenched fist couldn"t go round my small finger. Today, my little boy is dreaming and planning bigger things for his grandpa. The young man is already leading me on through many lessons, of hope, love and cherishing the little things that matter most in this life.
- Time quickly passes away. You already know that. But, do you take time to play with the kids, yours or others’? Do you ever make out time to smell the flowers and appreciate their beautiful color? Often times, the things that makes life beautiful are the seemingly insignificant things. Time is not passing away, you are the one passing away. My boy has taught me that every moment counts.
- Empathy - walking in others' shoes and knowing where the shoe pinches. This morning, he walked in on me while I was chirping away at the keyboard. Sounding less than excited, I wondered what was bordering him. Ambling on, he queried, "Grandpa, what happened?" He was referring to the Camry that was rammed in from the rear the previous day. I had to explain how another driver smashed into the car while I was driving out late the evening before. Empathy is the ability to see, understand and share the feelings of others and what they may be passing through from their own point of view. Empathy is different from and more than mere sympathy. Sympathy often ends in sorrowful feelings about others' misfortune. Many of us practise our sympathy while at the same time looking the other way and moving on while expecting others to do what we ought to have done. Empathy is what moves us from being judgemental into actions. The end result is that we all in our various little ways begin to make the world a better place for all.
- Be patient or lose your soul.
Through the eyes of my godson, I have come to learn that what matters so much today may not matter at all by this time tomorrow. No matter how depressing or forlorn the outlook may be, remember to cultivate the virtue of patience.
- Restoring humanity’s hope through acts of random kindness.
In the months when the plague was at its height, a friend in Poland whom I only knew via social media decided to send us some cash relief. The COVID-19 was then at its height and like many others, our family was shuttered down at home. As it was elsewhere, movement and businesses were seriously restricted in our community. The unsolicited timely random kindness of our unknown Poilsh friend renewed our hope that, "this too will pass way”. Take time out for acts of random kindness to strangers. The world will surely get better that way. Let’s begin to restore hope and let the humanity start with me (and you).
- Be grateful or be depressed.
Through his eyes, I’ve learnt to appreciate life better and treasure every moment. I’ve also learnt that tough as life may be, a grateful attitude is a potent force for keeping discouragement at bay. Don’t take anything for granted. Be grateful. Always.
- Kids are wiser than their years.
We can only underestimate these kids at our own peril. There is no end to their potentials. Viewing the world from their eyes doesn’t mean that you have to think or act childishly. However, it does mean that you should take time to rediscover the joy and the thrills of life through the eyes of these youngsters.
- Will you rather forgive or corrode from the inside?
In malice be ye children, in understanding be ye men." ~ Holy Bible.
By far, one of the most endearing and enduring lessons from my godson is his capacity to forgive and forget. An African saying goes thus; "It is only a little child that doesn’t understand the message that his mother is conveying through her tears." My precocious grandson, does understand beyond his years. In the event of any home ruckus between the two of us, he is usually the first to make reconciliatory moves. Indeed life is too short to keep on corroding your innards by holding on to grudges forever.
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The far away tomorrows are closer and more imminently at hand than you thought.
Through his eyes, I’ve learnt to cherish and appreciate life more. Seeing the world through the eyes of these toddlers, you may as well come to discover that, what seems to matter so much today may not matter that much by this same time tomorrow.
Come that tomorrow, may the hand you’re leading today become your leading hand.