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Wisdom, Nine-Year Old Style

September 28, 2014

“What’s it like being a nine year old girl?” I ask.

We’re in a Sushi joint in downtown Sebastabol. More Organic you-name-it stores per square foot than anywhere I’ve been. When you drive into town, a sign: Nuclear Free zone. This is the Vermont of California.

Her little brother gnaws happily on his chopsticks. She thinks for a moment, shrugs.

“I don’t know.”

I’m genuinely curious. I have zero frame of reference on the inner life of a little girl.

“Ok,” I say. “Is it different than when you were six?”

“Oh yes.” She smiles. “Definitely.”

“How?”

No hesitation. “You’re taller and you know more stuff.”

Her mom looks at her, then at me. Kinda proud.

“Are you better off knowing more stuff?” I ask.

I’m not sure what my question actually means. Two glasses of wine with dinner will do that. To her credit, she noodles on it.

“Well,” she says, “I’m more scared of the monkey bars. I wasn’t when I was six.”

Her mom and I both stare at her.

“Why’s that?” I ask.

“I didn’t think back then. I just did it.”

“So being afraid, it comes from thinking?”

“I suppose,” she says. A pause. “Yes. Thinking too much.”

17 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2014 1:21 pm

    Beautiful. And perfect. It’s certainly been true for me.

  2. KKC permalink
    September 28, 2014 2:38 pm

    I am constantly learning from my daughters. Constantly awed by their wisdom and humbled too. This is why I’ve don’t give them away to a traveling band of Gypsies.

  3. Andrew Hicks permalink
    October 6, 2014 6:53 am

    Very nice, and I relate well, even never having been a little girl (in this life, anyway). 🙂

  4. October 9, 2014 1:43 am

    The first time I came to Milan, I didn’t understand any Italian. I lived with an Italian family who spoke Italian all the time and walked down the streets of Italy seeing everything written in Italian heard people on their phones and talking to each other on the bus and at the cafes in Italian, completely and utterly fascinated by all of it. It was at that time that I first experienced who I really was, where I found your book and it tipped me over the edge. Prior to finding your book, not only was I in a constant state of gratitude but I also had pretty much zero distraction, utter silence in my head, since I didn’t understand anything around me. I couldn’t judge anyone because I didn’t know what they were saying. If they were complaining about something it wasn’t like I knew what they were talking about, nor did I feel a need to try to understand [and judge them] the way I guiltily do when I am at home in Taiwan. I was, quite literally, in this world and not of it.

    I’ve learned Italian by now, pretty fast too. I no longer have the “privilege” of being one who doesn’t understand, and one who simply can not judge by default.

    I think it’s similar to going from six to nine.

    Growing up I always felt really superior and privileged I was bilingual mother tongue, but I’m not so quick to make a judgment on that anymore. Of course, I think, like I said before that life calls us to more, it is just another stage for me to remember how to judge less, love [myself] unconditionally, without that little handicap of living in a place where I am not of the world.

    Trust you are well Kamal!

    xx
    Catt

    • October 12, 2014 10:34 pm

      Beautiful example, Catt. I always love hearing from you.

  5. November 7, 2014 5:54 pm

    Reblogged this on Footprints In Ecuador and commented:
    Do you think too much? I do. Does your own thinking sometimes scare you? Yeah, me too. I thought moving to Ecuador, living in an environment with perhaps a little more peace, I would also get peace of mind as a bonus. Well. Funny thing. I brought my mind with me (surprise!) and wherever you are there you are right? Even despite my “monkey mind,” I have overcome many of my fears of what it might be like to live full time in another country and just by discovering what it is like instead of what I feared it might be like, I am really starting to find my groove here, even despite myself! Haha!

    I just finished reading Kamal Ravikant’s book, “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends Upon It.” Great book. And now I have discovered his blog. I love it too.

    Just in case you might not know him, here is a wonderful recent blog I like a lot. Great wisdom from an 9 year old girl. Thanks from a 56 year old woman!

  6. Kim permalink
    February 3, 2015 10:52 am

    Just finished both ” Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” and “Live Your Truth”. Fantastic reading…….Obviously I am searching for meaning. I so get it that the person I’ve been looking for to love me, was me all along. I can certainly relate to this sweet little girl and oh how I long for the days where we didn’t think, we just did it. Thanks Kamal. I feel so much better now.

  7. February 3, 2015 12:45 pm

    Thank you for this. Always learning from my three wise children. The other day at dinner with my daughter, splurging and enjoying abundance at this fancy french spot in Midtown. She has her phone out, Instagramming. i say “no devices at the table” .She says “but it is dying, i only have 3 percent battery life”. I say ‘i am dying too”. she puts it away. quality time!

  8. Thierry permalink
    June 15, 2015 5:01 am

    Loving myself is my monkey bar.

  9. misskarinmarie permalink
    October 10, 2016 6:42 pm

    Brilliant !

  10. December 3, 2016 8:09 pm

    Always refreshing, the child’s honest spontaneity! Love it!

  11. Anish Sengupta permalink
    January 8, 2017 11:47 pm

    And dwelling on the past – heartache ?

    • January 29, 2017 2:34 pm

      Love yourself in the moment. Heartaches come and go, they don’t define us. Who we are in the moment does.

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