Living in the moment can be so freeing. As adults, I don’t think we can ever let go of thinking about what comes next and completely live in the moment. But young children definitely can teach us a few things about enjoying life.
A young child can completely lose himself in a moment. Although adults can do this when extreme emotions come up or when we make a conscious effort, this is the way of life for a young child.
What does a child gain from living in the moment?
He can be joyful. Children experience great joy from learning to do things for themselves and master their movements. He builds his understanding of his own capabilities and in turn, learns to trust himself. It is this trust that allows him to try new and challenging things. As he challenges himself, he repeats his work (play).
He can master his skills through repetition. We have all heard “practice makes perfect”, and for a young child they are internally driven to practice. This repetition draws them deeper and deeper into their interactive play. As a child repeats a puzzle, a book , or a peg board, he slowly eliminates extra movements of his hands and body. The movements become more refined and specific. The more refined these movements, the stronger the hands and eventually the more beautiful the handwriting!
Repetition leads to concentration.
Without the worry of what might come next, he dives into his play and finds a moment of Flow (Where his interest and challenge are at the perfect balance)
All of this builds his personality and self-actualization. He is building the person he will be for all his life. His time spent in the moment is constructive time for understanding who he is and eventually the role he will play in this world.
Allowing children under three to live in the moment helps build a better and more understanding community. To understand yourself and how you effect the world is the first step in making a meaningful contribution.
So I just want to say thank you to all of those who are not yet three. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of each moment.