Imagine a kindergarten classroom full of children. Some are painting. Some are playing. It’s chaos, obviously. It’s a kindergarten classroom…
Enter little Billy, brandishing the latest and greatest toy – the toy that every child has been taught to desire. It’s not even out yet! How the hell did Billy get one already?! He must have an uncle who’s a top-level wizard at a toy company. I don’t even care! Lemme see it!!
Within moments, Billy is surrounded by his classmates, all clamoring to have a turn playing with the new toy. Soon, there are stakes, a pecking order, and favors being offered for the first turn. Timmy even offers to stop jacking Billy’s favorite spot at nap time. Things get THAT real, and needless to say, Billy enjoys the fair-weather adoration, the compliments, and the offers of shared snacks from the other children.
Billy is simply intoxicated by his newfound popularity.
Then there’s Sally.
Sally obviously can not care less about the toy. She only briefly looks up from her finger painting, or the doll whose hair she’s brushing. Personally, I like to imagine she’s fully immersed in building a device out of Lego blocks that she will use to TAKE OVER THE WORLD, but that’s just me. In your mind, you know what your Sally is doing.
The point is, Sally couldn’t care less. She’s content with where she is, what she has, and with what she’s doing. Maybe she’s just a super enlightened five-year-old. Maybe her parents are hippies and don’t own a TV. It doesn’t matter. Sally is content.
Now the question:
Who are you in this scenario?
And the second question:
Who do you want to be?
When I ask myself these questions, I think “PSSHH… I’m a yoga teacher! I’m thoroughly all about that mindful, minimalist life!”
But if I’m totally honest, of course there’s that tiny, almost visceral little voice – the one that I shush quickly… uncomfortably quickly – that pipes up and shouts “BILLY!! OMG I WANT TO BE BILLY! GIVE ME ALL THE THINGS!”
Because my mind, like yours, is replacing that shiny new toy with the people, places, and thing(s) that I crave. That’s the beauty of it. We know how every child in that classroom feels.
We’ve all been Billy – the man or woman of the hour, the center of attention, if only for a glorious, fleeting moment (because let’s be honest – in a week or two every other kid in the room will have that toy, and poor Billy is gonna be right back at square one)…
Another feeling we know all too well, yes?
You’ve been Sally too – content and at peace with what’s in front of you, without grasping or desire, if only for a fleeting moment.
And, you’ve been stuck in the pack, elbowing your way to the front of the line, in desperate need of that thing you want… if only for a fleeting moment.
We say it so often that it’s lost its significance.