Last night, I went to my wife’s friend’s girlfriend’s birthday celebration.
I was a little anxious about going. It can take me a while to feel like myself around new people, and I often find it hard to connect with people during brief encounters at parties.
However, I’m thrilled I went because I met Raymond. He was one of the first people I started talking to that night and we ended up chatting for most of the evening.
Raymond’s an all-around awesome and inspiring guy. Our conversation spanned from design, to travel, to parenting.
Though he’s not much older than myself, I learned that he had two kids aged eight and 10 years old.
I feel rather unprepared to be a parent, so whenever I meet someone around my age with children, I try to learn as much as possible.
Raymond keeps a journal of things he has read or seen, which he shares with his kids when he thinks they are ready for the lesson.
I loved this idea.
I dug a bit deeper, “What is an example of a lesson you have written down?”
“Well,” Raymond responded, “here is one. It’s a quote from a sci-fi movie with Will Smith. In the movie, Will is talking to his son and says:
‘Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist… Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.’
Wow. What a powerful concept for someone of any age to grasp.
Separating danger from fear is not something I consciously do or did in the past.
But the more I sat with it, the more I realized what an exercise in mindfulness it was.
Taking a moment to see our feelings before becoming our feelings.
In a world of non-stop action and reaction, simply taking that moment is often the most difficult but also the most important step we can take.
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