I had an interesting encounter with the seven-year-old daughter of my next-door neighbor yesterday evening. On her usual walkabout routine with her two siblings (something they have been doing since the pandemic lockdown in April), she came across me out on my veranda checking my plants with a big smile on my face. “Hello Efe’s mum. Why are you smiling? – she asked. People have always commented on the fact that I smile a lot. I explain that it is my default facial expression. Not because I do not go through the pain or stress that others do. My smile is my just my expression of how I choose to see the world and navigate it.
But back to the seven-year-old.
I responded to her question by saying that I was smiling because I was happy to be alive. She responded by looking at me pointedly and unimpressed as she asked “But you were alive before so why do you need to smile about that now?”.
Wow. Talk about critical thinking. I was amused, impressed and a bit saddened by her response. The importance of gratitude and mindfulness came to mind as I reflected on her words and those of my podcast guest this week. In her 5-minute podcast, Adaora Ayoade provided thoughtful words on enjoying the ‘now’ and just ‘being’.
Come on. Let’s ‘Be’ more.