Lessons from a Recession-Proof Toddler

by Victor Cheng

The other day my youngest daughter, Charlie, wanted to show me something. She’s 22 months old and was terribly insistent on showing me something.

The music CD from her toddler music program was playing in the background. She leaned against the wall with one hand, stood on one leg, and was swinging the other leg back and forth to the beat of the music.

She was so proud of herself, grinning from ear-to-ear indelight. I thought she wanted me to copy her, so I started to and she got very grumpy very quickly.

I quickly realized she just wanted me to watch, so I did until her little performance was done.

She was so happy.

Afterwards I realized that in her world she has no idea there’s a recession going on.

She has no clue it’s the worst recession in 75 years. In her world, she’s got a roof overhead, food to eat, parents that love her, an older sister to play with (who from time to time does torture her, but her life can’t be 100% perfect), and with lots of opportunities for smiles and giggles all day long.

In her world, life is pretty good.

And its at that moment, I realize that taken the by the standards of a two year old, life is actually pretty good for alot of people–recession or not.

Her expectations about life are innocently focused on the basics. Many people, myself included, could use a reminder about that every once in a while.

I personally tend to be a forward thinker – what do I need to do tomorrow, next month, a year from now to get to where I want to go in life. I know a lot of people who are historical dwellers.

What happened to the good old days? And dwell unproductively on the past.

I know very few adults who are present-oriented… where they focus on right now, this second, this moment. I try to do to this, but it takes a conscious effort to be “present” as it is not my natural instinct.

But this instinct is natural for a “recession-proof” toddler.

And if you want to have a recession-proof moments in your life, try being “present” and enjoying the basics that we all already have, but often take for granted.

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