When I was a ten-year-old, I once confessed to my Dad, ” School is boring.”
He said, “What?” – acting as though he hadn’t heard me. So I repeated, “School is boring!”
His eyebrows rose with a concerned and slow “I see.” With his hand on his chin, he stared into space for a moment, and then as if struck by a meteor from inner space, he suddenly shot back, “How many kids in your class?”
“And how old are they?”
“They’re ten, like me.”
“Thirty kids, all ten years old – wow!” and he stared into space as if some miracle had happened.
“What?” I begged. I couldn’t imagine what was so magical about 30 ten-years-olds.
“Well,” he said, pausing just long enough to make sure I was interested, “30 kids, each ten years old, that makes 300 years total. Three hundred years worth of living, in the same room, at the same time. Each person so different, with thoughts and beliefs and ideas. I mean, just trying to imagine what each one had for breakfast is amazing! Or what each one is thinking at any moment! Imagine if thoughts could be heard, wow, you could hear thirty thoughts at the same time! I wonder what secrets they all have. I wonder what they dream at night?”
At the ripe old age of ten I’d had ten years experience living with my Dad. So I already knew he was a little different from other Dads. My response was to roll my eyes and walk away.
But the next day in school, I couldn’t keep from from wondering what all my classmates had for breakfast, what they had dreamed about the night before, what made them the way they were, and what they were thinking about when the teacher was talking. School didn’t change, but my perspective and behavior did. Suddenly going to school was more like going to the zoo. Everything became fascinating.