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  • Writer's pictureSona Parmar

Happy Feet

Watching the kids playing in the sandpit one afternoon:

Me, to my daughter: “Isn’t it weird how your feet used to look just like Papa’s and now they look more like mine? And the fact that your sister’s actually look just like mine.”

Then, to my son: “What about yours? Whose feet do yours look like?”

My son, nonchalant: “My feet look like my feet.”

My little boy took my breath away.

We spend our lives compartmentalising and labelling. We forget that some things - actually most things - are unique.

We compare this relationship to the last, this job to another, and we think that an argument with our sister is like the one we had ten years ago.

But, as my son insightfully pointed out, “the ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence” (J. Krishnamurti).

I so know this.

But I need to move what I know, “from [my] heart to [my] head, then to [my] hands and outside” (to quote a teacher of mine). I need to internalise it all so that it permeates my being, rather than it remaining on the surface, or as shelf-esteem.

To observe without evaluating. Hmmm. The only way to do this is to be present – and this is both a very strange, and grounding, feeling. You’re simply with what is. I guess you could say that you are accepting things as they are, but it’s not even that.

To some extent, acceptance involves thinking. Observing without evaluating, just means observing, much like watching a movie, with no critique in mind. You let it wash over you. It is very pleasant – and nowhere near as much work as the constant analysis that my mind persistently undertakes.

I realised, at that moment that, this is what children do. They observe. They absorb. They’re present. They smile.

So this seemingly abstract idea of not judging just became easier. I just have to be like a child: carefree, joyful, wide-eyed and curious. And to be optimistic about what lays ahead, because I have no idea what it can be, or what it can turn into.

Like a pair of happy, little feet that once fit into the palm of my hand.

We have no idea what the possibilities can be.

And this is exactly how life should be.

This is exactly how life is.

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