10 Lessons We Can Learn From Our Children. Lesson 4: Observe the World Around You… Learn!

10 Lessons We Can Learn from Our Children. PART 4

Observe the World Around You… Learn!

As parents, we learn so much from our kids. As parents, we learn so much about ourselves. Often we miss many small lessons that our kids can teach us, because we are distracted. We are distracted way too often, if we truly think about it. Our entire lives can be jammed full of distractions. How much are we missing out on from this world? How much more wisdom could each of us gain, if we just observe this world a little more? Our children observe every little detail, until we distract them or teach them that observing does not merit growth. We teach them that, when they observe our own actions and interactions with the world. So… that brings us to lesson 4 of 10 lessons we can learn from our children: Observe the world around you… learn.


  1. Play hard, sleep hard.
  2. Pursue the things you want with fierceness.
  3. Smile often.
  4. Observe the world around you… learn.

In today’s modern world, which is a silly saying since the world is always more modern than the day before. I’m not off to a good start. Let me start over…

Everyone’s life is littered with distractions. If you are reading this right now, then this blog post might be a distraction for you. Distractions come in all shapes, sizes, forms, and colors. Some long term distractions are healthy and called ‘hobbies’ and others are not healthy and called ‘addictions’. Short term distractions are especially frustrating for someone like myself, who battles A.D.D. (or sometimes embraces A.D.D.)

“Sorry, what was I writing about? …. Ah, yes, distractions.”

What are we distracted from? That is an interesting question.

Usually, we are distracted from responsibility, or from what we should be focusing on. As in, we are focused on the less important, rather than the more important.

Typically, this rears its ugly head in the form of procrastination, which can cause minor or major life problems. If you watch 12 hours of Netflix in a row (first, you’re a professional Netflixer, and I am impressed), then you most likely are now behind on laundry, paying bills, your diet, working out, yard work, dishes, cleaning, writing your book, writing your blog, drawing, painting, catching up on work, and much more… I’m pretty sure most of those are just mine, but you get the point.

Those are primarily minor life problems that can turn into major life problems. I think the biggest, most major of all the life problems we create by being distracted is…

Missing out on life! Not living! Not seeing the world around us. Not learning, not observing, not growing, and again… not living.

I’ve watched my daughter closely, and it is a given, but all children learn about this world by interacting with the world and observing the world.

So, the question is; Have you stopped observing the world?

Has anyone else worried about the younger generation and their addiction (distraction) to smart phones? It seems they cannot go 10 seconds without checking it. It also seems like adults are getting just as bad.

Next time you are in line at the grocery store, or any store, watch to see how many people are on their phones. The DMV, airports, trains, buses, and restaurants are the most evident of the smart phone distraction points. Seriously, take a moment to think about the ramifications of kids that grow up not observing the world.

The social interactions of face to face communication will become a foreign language. Kids won’t know what a happy face, angry face, scared face, or annoyed face will look like in person. They will need an emoji to help them.

My 16-month old daughter watches my wife’s face, and my face as much as she possibly can. She is watching to understand when to be scared, and when not to be scared. She is watching to learn what is funny and what isn’t, what is stressful and what is not. She is watching, learning, observing this world. She wants to know everything there is to possibly know about this world. She is living in the present, and is a sponge that soaks up as much information about this world as she can. She converts that information into memory. She wants to be prepared for what comes next, to anticipate, to brace herself, and observing is the only way to do that.

Our children really are smarter than us, more than we would like to admit. This world makes us dumb, and tells us that being distracted is comforting. Sure, it is comforting… until that distraction creates problems.

I guess it comes down to a decision that we have to make. Not once, but daily, and multiple times a day.

Are we going to be distracted from living in the present, and learning from this world? Or, are we going to be childlike and see this world through non-distracted eyes, and soak up what little life there is to live?
I choose to see. I choose to put the distractions away, at least at this moment, for at least this day. Hopefully, I learn something today because of that decision, but either way, I am alive today. I am not distracted.

The choice is yours, so, what will you choose today?


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