I have a student named Jean. The first time I really met Jean was during class sign in, when without asking, she walked bravely around the front desk and hugged everyone working behind it. When she went into the classroom, I looked at one of my coworkers and said, “Whoa, who is that? She just, goes for it.” The reply was, “That’s Jean, she comes and hugs all the desk staff before every class she takes. She will hug you everytime, now.” And from that moment on she has hugged me before every class and multiple times a week, if I am lucky. She is tender and generous giver of love.
She came in early for class yesterday to buy a rose quartz crystal for her three year old granddaughter, Charlie. During the purchase Jean explained how Charlie always tenderly picks up the clear crystal Jean has, looks at it with childlike wonder and then so cautiously puts it down. Since pink is Charlie’s favorite color so Jean was very excited to surprise her with a Rose or pink colored one of her own. Jean went on to say, that it’s okay when Charlie picks up her clear crystal because she is very CAREFUL. She emphasised that her granddaughter is very CAREFUL with everything.
I thought to myself, a three year old who is careful with everything? I am not so used to seeing or hearing about this type of behavior. Then I thought, “careful with everything” isn’t even a quality toddlers have even really had time to learn. I continued thinking on the subject and realized that Charlie must have been born careful and then immediately realized, NO! She was born FULL of CARE. There is a difference between learning to be careful with objects, animals or people vs. being FULL of CARE for objects, animals and people. Charlie must have been born a tender heart, someone who hugs little things, speaks quietly instead of shouting, walks softly instead of tromping. How did she cultivate this sensitivity at such a young age!? How can we encourage more children to be so tender hearted and FULL of CARE? The answer to myself was that she was born with it, and those qualities and attributes must have been recognized and NURTURED by her family.
SO I want to THANK Jean for her fine nurturing skills and for seeing inside of a child what qualities to reward and nurture. My hope is that all parenting and grandparenting can move this way. The observance of children’s natural skills and qualities followed by a support system so children can grow confident with themselves and the qualities that are inherent in them from birth.
I know that Charlie must be learning from Jean to love and be loved just as we learn from Jean to love and be loved before every class. She’s a leader of love!
How can we as adults cultivate inside of ourselves a way of being more FULL of CARE rather than simply CAREFUL with the situations in our lives? How can we teach our younger generation to have a genuine sweetness even an intelligent innocence when seeing and handling the world?
Thank you Jean.