School Buses by Alex Grant |

The mind is a powerful thing.

I immerse myself in this thought while watching my 3-year old nephew play pretend over and over, silently singing along to a song he had previously watched. He would imagine the opening of a bus door as it comes to a stop in front of him. He’d imagine himself as the bus driver. He’d then imagine himself as one of the passengers. He had memorized the actions from the video perfectly, and he’d re-enact everything in his own little universe. Oblivious of everything around him, he would live in his own song---aaand not just one song. He has a whole lot of other Little Baby Bum songs that would randomly play in his a childlike kind of Last Song Syndrome that is bound to stick around for quite a while.

And then I wonder about what goes on in his head when his imaginative play gets disrupted. How does his imaginary street and bus disappear? How about the other passengers with him?

What’s amazing about his kind of play is he just goes on. You call him out of it, he goes on. You tell him it’s time to eat, he will not mind you…until he’s finished with his song. It is kind of a bus ride in itself. He does not alight until he has reached his stop. He has total control of his attitude toward this little world he created. He has focus (Not bad for a 3-year old, I must say!).

What is quite fascinating is how relevant this observation becomes in light of a book  I’ve been reading recently. Much of the idea of Robin Sharman’s "The Monk who sold his Ferrari,” centers around gaining mastery of the self by understanding that while we may not be able to control what happens in our lives, we can control how we react to it. It reminds me of the Dalai Lama’s “The Art of Happiness,” but with some modern Paulo Coelho-ish take on storytelling. I liked it the moment I opened it, and read this dedication:

To my son, Colby, who is my daily reminder of all that is good in the world. Bless You.

The mind is ever a powerful thing.

Someday, I will have children of my own, and I know that I, too, would have to celebrate with them their built-up universe—their imaginative worlds and spaces and friends and songs. I would watch them let go of these worlds as they grow up, both heartbreakingly and joyfully. Their universe would be my universe. Their songs, my songs. Their imaginative journeys, my own journey.

I pray that while that chapter in my life (and others’ as well) awaits, that we all see the world like children do. That we continue to imagine possibilities and feed our minds with ALL that is good in the world---focus on creating and maintaining a well-balanced life (and understand that it is hugely different from a well-off life!) Because while it is true that the children are the future, what future will they create but that inspired by those before them? By their parents and family and the home they live in.

Imagine a world of love and compassion and friendship and laughter and forgiveness and understanding and opportunities and dreams and faith. Imagine these thoughts go on and on and on...from one family to wheels on a bus. :) 

Exactly like wheels on a bus.

Imagine even little beautiful things everyday, and watch them come to life. In the persons of our children, their relationships with the people they will meet throughout the ride, and the world they will create as they step out of the bus and grow beyond their tiny creative spaces.

Oh what a wonderful world awaits us.



Coming home.


SERVE LIFE FORWARD: Travel meaningfully, Live joyfully.