An article by Kris King – Source Online Newsletter Oct 2013 Edition
Do you remember the first time you jumped in puddles? Perhaps watching an older sibling or neighbor kid jump in first and watching their glee at the splashes. Up and down, up and down and then you jumped in! I loved jumping in puddles…not a care in the world, just the experience of water, movement, messiness, overall craziness…and laughter!
I learned to jump in puddles by watching my older brother, Roger, do it. He was an expert and I wanted to be just like him. I was mentored in puddle jumping by someone who loved it. When I look back I see I’ve had many mentors about numerous things—singing, dancing, math problems, science projects, how to dress, how to fit in, even how to walk in heels. At the time I didn’t realize that I was modeling other people, I just knew I wanted to know what they knew. I was curious, insatiable about my world and quite frankly awestruck.
I think most kids are that way…until they are not. Definition of acculturation: the process by which a human being acquires the culture of a particular society from infancy. Acculturation is a slow and invisible process that shapes us when we don’t know we are being shaped. It also shapes our beliefs, perspectives, judgments, values, assumptions and we think this is reality. Some of this acculturation is great and some not so great. We stop being curious, thinking we know the answers and that we are right about “stuff.” The doorway to awe closes.
Can’t you feel your energy dropping as you read this…depressing. Well, you don’t need to wait for a mid-life crisis or some major life event to shake you up to open the door to awe again.
My mom, Rae, was a life long learner and a wonderful role model for me. She was curious about her world and the people in it until the moment she died at 93. In her last 5 weeks of life, she had two caregivers from Tonga, Veili and Palaiti. They cared for her with such compassion and thoughtfulness. Mom initiated wonderful conversations with them about Tonga, their religion, education, language, their children…you name it, they talked about it. So much laughter rang out from her room. When she died both Veili and Palaiti said that my Mom was the only person they had cared for who learned to say their names correctly, who asked about their lives, who cared enough about them to learn who they were. I call that a life long learner.
I am sure there are people in your life that you know or are aware of that are still awestruck by life. You feel inspired when you are around them or think of them. By modeling these people who excel at something we want to learn and include in our capabilities, we can effect belief and behavior changes to improve the quality of our lives and how we function. Step into their shoes, get curious about how and what they think, “try them on” and experience their world which will enhance your own.
Open your mind, open your heart, get curious and open the doorway to awe.
With love and gratitude,