A couple of days ago my daughter and I were visiting public toilets whilst out shopping. As I waited for my daughter, I watched a tiny girl and her mum holding hands, slowly making their way down steps to go back outside.
“They are so beautiful” said the tiny girl (who must have been no more than 3 years old), evidently referring to the steps.
“They are not beautiful” responded the mum in a kind voice, probably noticing years of wear and dirty footprints.
“Then what are they?” asked the tiny girl.
“They are just steps”, replied mum.
I watched them make their way to the bottom of the steps and wander away. Curious as to why the little girl perceived the steps as ‘beautiful’, I took a closer look.
Looking down, I noticed that the material covering the steps was a non-slip linoleum. And thought the steps were definitely in need of a good clean, it quickly became obvious that there was a lot of glitter and sparkle within the material. It occurred to me that the tiny girl’s attention had been drawn to this which is why she described them as beautiful. The mother had obviously only noticed the dirt and the wear and tear.
This little girl inspired me and reminded me that so often we fail to see the beauty around us. Pre-occupied with ‘to-do lists’ and a head full of the future, we often fail to ‘be fully present’ in any moment.
If this mother didn’t see the sparkle, then there is a very good chance that many of us would have reacted in the very same way.
But this isn’t just about the glitter and sparkle. It’s about all the things that we fail to notice every single day that are right in front of our eyes.
By constantly being a ‘human doing’ instead of a human being, YOU may be missing out. You may be missing out on tiny and beautiful things. You may be missing out on opportunities. You may be missing out on the chance to notice and connect with others who could bring you opportunities.
This tiny little girl reminded me of the importance of living in the moment. She reminded me of the importance of slowing down and paying attention. And I’d love to think that she has reminded you too.