Connecting with others’ heart, enchantment and child zones
With my son after biking sixteen miles to the Lincoln Memorial. Every revolution of our wheels was pure enchantment and bliss.
My eight-year-old son recently asked me: "Why do so many people become less fun as they get older?" If you want an honest assessment of people and life, ask a young child.
I replied that too many people lose touch with their inner child and having fun as they grow older, getting all concerned about school work and exams, earning a living, paying their expenses, health, aging, friendships, time demands, possible loneliness, others’ view about them, and responding to all the worldwide and closer-by conflicts around us. I thought that the very purpose of applying oneself diligently to academics and career was to enhance one’s life, not to make one’s life miserable. If one keels over with a fatal heart attack from stressing and kvetching over everything, what was it worth? If a person is convinced s/he never will be happy until everyone treats each other with dignity and humanity rather than being rotten and violent to others, the person never will be happy. Unless one finds satisfaction in the now, s/he will have a big challenge ever feeling happy.
When persuading others, then, we must both acknowledge that a tremendous number of people have lost touch with the power, wonder and joy of their inner child, and we must endeavor to connect with and help reopen their heart, enchantment and child zones. I am not at all talking about manipulating nor pushing anyone. Manipulation will boomerang truckloads of camel dung and tanks of donkey urine into your mouth, nose and eyes. I am talking about connecting to the most powerful qualities of people — their hearts, enchantment, and child zones — to help them transcend concerns about how others will view their decisions, and to invest their whole beings in doing the right thing, even if their decision contradicts the party line of their family, friends, house of worship, workplace, neighborhood, political party, or social club.
Adults can have the best of all worlds of the experience, wonder, and fearlessness of being a child, balanced with the wisdom and experience that come with living into adulthood.
Exhibiting our reconnection with our heart, child and enchantment zones for many people is akin to not admitting to watching a certain campy or corny or melodramatic television show, so as to avoid the embarrassment of others finding us out, only to learn that just about everyone else is watching the same television show in the closet, and thoroughly enjoying themselves every second of the show, but denying themselves from enjoying the show even more by watching and discussing it with others. When people know they will not be ridiculed for opening their hearts and exhibiting their enchantment and children within, they will open up, but sometimes with delay and hesitation after having been berated by their parents to act mature, their teachers to conform, their bosses to be responsible, their peers not to embarrass them, and cops and the law to follow rules made by others OR ELSE.
Even in the most dour, businesslike, and move-it-along probation office I have ever visited, I have found glimmers of humanity bursting forth like weeds pushing through cracks in the sidewalk. One probation agent has a hysterical series of outhouse photos on her wall. Another was truly interested in engaging me in conversation about my law practice and about his also having been previously based for work near my office.
If a person knows you are judging them, dislike them, feel separate from them because of their career choice or hairstyle, or feel uncomfortable with or afraid of them, do not expect them to open up to you. The magic mirror takes hold. If you shed your role that sent you to that person, and open your heart, inner child and enchantment — without doing it in a way that will only freak out or push away others, so do it in measured doses — the person will not be self conscious about doing the same.
If a police officer or other witness against my client is recalcitrant with me outside the courtroom or courthouse, that means it is time for me to refocus on simply relating to the witness as human-to-human, without my role as my client’s lawyer.
If you can get to the point where you neither feel nor see any distinction between you and the other person, and feel as much love, compassion, and caring for them as you do yourself and your children, then you have reached extraordinary heights, whether or not you are trying to persuade at the moment.
Thanking and hugging my son, whose very presence and love reminds me and catapults me to stay on this path.