My Son Taught Me

by Christopher Kabamba
(Lusaka, Zambia)

Kabamba Kabamba (photo taken December 2008)

Kabamba Kabamba (photo taken December 2008)

I always thought of parenting as the act of raising children, but sometimes I wonder who is raising whom. I often think my kids are teaching me ?

Those are words of author and speaker, Steve Pavlina in an article on the subject of parenting. I remember reading this article some years back. Like many would, I wondered how children could possibly raise their parents.

I think the message is that through our children, we as parents can learn profound lessons about life. The reason for this is very simple. In the game of life, the fundamentals at play are the same. Everything is the expression of the same principle and everything is sustained by the same principle of life. In the final analysis, everything plays by the same rules. That is what is meant by Law. It is one. The concept of Love for example can be used, not only to improve your relationships, but to also improve your business. I remember someone telling me that they had read a book by Napoleon Hill which taught them profound lessons about the subject of marriage. Want to know the title of the book? ? How to Raise Your Own Salary. By the way, the lesson had nothing to do with how to manage finances in marriage. Not anywhere close.

I said all this to remind you that children can teach each one of us profound life lessons and that these lessons can be applied to any area of life.

Today, 14th July 2009, my son turns exactly 10 months old. I want to take this opportunity to thank God for this precious gift. In doing so, I want to share with you three simple and yet profound lessons I have learned from my son. Clearly, these are lessons I could learn from any other child.

1. Children Live in the Present Moment

Children live in the moment. They do not know any other time except the present moment. The concept of time is alien to them. In their consciousness, everything is in the Eternal Now. That is the only time they know, NOW.

If you saw a 10 month old baby who wants to have something to eat, you would appreciate what I am talking about. When a child wants something NOW, they don?t give in to promises, even when the promise is coming from a Head of State. In fact at 10 months old, they don?t even know anything about promises, anyway. They just want it NOW. Children value the moment so much that they squeeze every bit of juice out of the present. They are so consumed by the present moment. They don?t know how to save for tomorrow. To them it is either this moment or never.

Obviously, we as adults ought to use the concept of time when it empowers us. But too often, we use it against ourselves. Our minds are constantly filled with the failed plans and promises of yesterday and the fears of tomorrow and all this time the present moment is passing us by without making the most of it. That is not so with my son. That is not so with your child. Our children live in the present moment. Maybe it is time we begun to do the same. Maybe, just maybe we will be as peaceful as they are.

2. Children Learn Every Moment

I think that one of the greatest gifts of life is the ability to learn. You don?t need to know everything before you can start the journey of life. All you need is your God given ability to learn. You must be teachable.

I am yet to see a place where this tenet is more exemplified than in children. I am amazed at the number of things my son has learned to do in the last 10 months. When he was just born, he could barely do anything consciously. Everything was somewhat instinctive. Not anymore. He now has an opinion on how things must be done. Soon he may even contribute to the family budget, who know? He is learning every moment. Not even the sky is the limit for him.

3. Children Reach out Every Moment

The other thing I have learned is that children always seem to have the next milestone in sight. I am amazed to see my son try to attempt a new thing before he even perfects his art in what may have just accomplished. He seems to be always a step ahead. Just when we, as his parents are still celebrating one thing, there is a new skill on the block. Some months ago, just after he learned to sit unaided, my wife and I were amazed at how quickly he began attempting to crawl. At 10 months old, he is able to stand whilst holding or leaning against something. Already he is attempting to stand unaided, walk and run. Who knows what else is on the mind of this guy!

It is so wonderful to be a parent. Obviously, it has its own challenges. But compared to the joy set before it, the challenges are a non issue. I have given myself a promise: I desire to be a good father and an inspiring leader to my son and every other child the Lord will bless my wife and me with. You see, we are expecting some more. We are not finished yet. We will sure replenish this earth!!

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