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by: Diana Nason
Why are we called human beings when in actual fact we are human doings?
When was the last time you remember you were not actually doing something, or if you were not physically engaged you were thinking of doing something, or worse, feeling guilty about not doing something?
We are encouraged to do things from a very early age such as touch things, sit up, crawl, and all the other “milestones” throughout our developmental life. If a baby or youngster does not perform the expected task by a certain time then parents are worried that their child is not ”normal”. This early development is always encouraged and rewarded by positive feed back and affection so the baby quickly learns that doing things brings approval. This is; no doubt, why children go on to do negative annoying things when the praise subsides due to the fact that the child has now passed all the major physical requirements to prove that it is “normal”. This probably explains the “terrible two year old’ situation. Baby has learnt to clap, recognize, crawl, sit and walk so everything is good as far as physical development is concerned and the approval may diminish so the child employs louder, more repetitive actions to get the once freely given attention. Some children also figure out that refusing to “do things” results in attention so learn to withhold. In either case children can quickly become manipulative.
When are we ever going to realize that being and not doing is part of our natural life rhythm?
Wouldn’t it be interesting to raise a child with no particular expectation or praise for performing tasks? Children would still develop as they learn quickly and copy adults constantly. Animals all teach their young how to eat or catch food, protect them and in some cases play with them, but essentially let them be. This may explain why animals are more in touch with nature than humans. They go about their business in tune with natural cycles as they follow their food supply and procreation instincts in a rhythmic manor without constantly worrying about “doing”. Animals are always naturally in a state of being as their very existence depends upon it. If they were not in tune with the world around them they would run out of food or become prey for another beast. In order to achieve this heightened sense of survival animals rest regularly by sleeping but are more often in a state of meditative relaxation or “being”. This state allows the animal to rest and recuperate but able to take flight if necessary as they are not actually asleep and have reserves of energy.
Humans, on the other hand are usually in a constant state of stress trying to achieve goals by doing tasks that may or may not have a direct impact on their basic survival. We, far too often, get caught up in wanting far more than we actually need which necessitates doing more and more.
If we all took time out of the pressure of doing, that causes so much stress and grief, and made time for inner reflection or simply being then our lives would surely be much less stressed and complicated. This is called bringing balance into our lives.
What do you think? Do you think we humans as a species are out of touch with out natural life rhythym? Is the 'terrible twos' avoidable?
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