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Is Childlike Joy the Answer?


Punch the clock. Do the hours. Collect the pay.

There has to be more to life right? Passions. Obsessions. Joy. Moments.

Some people know how to capture these moments and have obsessive, enjoyable habits in their lives.  The early rise to run as the sun comes up.  A shed in the garden full of model trains. A guitar strummed endlessly.  Walking on a gravel track through the karri trees.

And there are smaller joys.  The company of others. Fellowship. Your children achieving in life. Their first words. Their first steps. A dog that rests its head on your leg. Eyes locking with yours.  The black cockatoos that raucously crack gum nuts, scattering them across the street.

Then there are those moments. Of stillness and perfection.  A reflection in a puddle. The moment of pre-emptive joy as you lift the first coffee of the day to your lips.  The sound as an ocean wave crashes. Perfect white noise.

It is a human preoccupation to seek out this joy and contentment.  We shape our lives around it.  The most beautiful of things. Fine art and designer furniture tick the box for the aestheticians amongst us. The most useful of things. The practical celebrate the efficiency of ‘the right tool’. The most addictive and destructive of things. From cigarettes to meth, there are those who chase not just joy but all consuming Nirvana. 

The pure preoccupation with any hedonism, that is sensual self indulgence, seems to spin off destructive forces. And yet those that find peace in

asceticism, deprivation and stillness, are noted for their acts of selflessness.

I have a friend (you may know him) who has taken only cold showers for the last 8 years.  What does this act of self denial achieve in the world at large? Nothing. But for himself it is a moment that he repeats. A small victory. The knowledge of what he is capable of. Reinforced.

Some people lose the ability to identify the moments in their lives. Contentment escapes them. Joy slips through their grip. And their self righteous judgement is a tool to undo the value in others lives.  You know these people.

Children are the masters of finding the moment, over brimming with discovery and wonder. “Look an ant!”.  We, the adults, are past masters and would do well to stop and inhabit the moment fully and remember that feeling of childlike joy.

Why am I writing this. What epiphany struck me?  Well my daughter 13 years of age, was writing a Haiku last night.  That Japanese poetic form. As much word puzzle as poetry.  But by observing the rules of referencing  the spiritual, recognizing the seasons and the natural, uncovering the moment, the syllable structure and a ‘reveal’ that is a twist at the end, all encompassed in three lines and a total of 17 syllables you are forced to observe the moment. To capture the essence of place.  And I realised once complete it gave me pleasure on so many levels. The interaction with my daughter. The complete ‘in the now’ experience.  The beauty and simplicity of her finished product.

So this blog is simple. Go out today and capture for yourself the simple. The beautiful. The moment. Be content. Find joy in people and in things.  You can even do this at work. Have a great day!

 Derek Baston


Vic Park Life

White picket fences and backyards with mulberry trees. Apartments and town houses and villas and everything in-between. It’s got a bit of everything.

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