Last night I was at my kid’s high school being given our very first update on my youngest daughter’s high school progress. It was an interesting experience.
You know you think you know the people closest to you? You believe you know almost everything about them but I find that, even with those you know the best, people have amazing ways of surprising you.
Last night we discovered, much to our (very pleasant) surprise, that our youngest daughter has some serious artistic talent. We were shown drawings and art that we would never have believed she was capable of if the teacher wasn’t sitting there telling us how amazing it was! It was a wonderful moment of pride and surprise as, even after 12 years of raising her every single day, she managed to surprise us.
In hindsight though, the clues were always there. We’d just never taken the time to notice them. And that’s an interesting point.
It’s too easy to end up thinking we simply ‘know’ people and, when we think we ‘know’ people, we tend to shut down our ability to learn about that person because we think we know all there is to know. We assume we know who they are and we therefore respond to them accordingly. We decide ‘she’s that type of person’ and ‘he’s that type of person’ and once we do that we shut down our curiosity and our ability to really see them. We stop responding to the real them and simply respond to the ‘them’ that we hold as images and memories inside our heads.
So I ask you this, when was the last time you really looked and noticed the special talents and abilities of the people closest to you? Do you accept the fact that your kid speaks a language, plays the guitar or can write an amazing story and really think about how amazing that is? Or do you just take it for granted? Do you really think about what your partner or friends do for a living and think about the talent, dedication and knowledge it must take to do that job to that level? Or is it ‘just what they do’? Do you really pay attention to those that are most special to you or has it just become a standard part of your everyday life?
It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? Sit back for a moment. Hold a thought about someone special in your mind and really think about how far they’ve come, what they’ve been through to get where they are, the talents they have, how hard they have worked and how dedicated they have been and allow yourself a moment of pride on their behalf. Really notice them and when you do, celebrate them inside your head.
And then can you do one more thing for me? Do exactly the same thinking process of noticing the incredible abilities, talents, dedication and attributes but, this time, do it about yourself.
We may return to that thought tomorrow! In the meantime, sweet dreams and be proud 🙂