Since my daughter started walking and talking, she wanted to have a daily ritual. Beside reading books with her daddy (me), one of the first rituals she loved to have was a family dancing. Before she went to bed, all three of her family members held hands and made a circle. Once my daughter began to sing, all three of us started walking counterclockwise or clockwise while holding hands. Typically, she sang three songs: ‘the Snail House’, ‘three little pigs’, and “Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Grow”. My wife and I were obliged to follow her instructions such as ‘move fast or slow’, ‘sing fast or slow’, and ‘stand where we are and keep rotating until she said ‘stop’’. Sometimes, my wife complained with a smiling face, “why should I do this ritual every day”. The ritual lasted more than three months. We do not practice this ritual any more, but she kept inventing new rituals.
Recently, she started practicing a new ritual. She climbs to the very top of the sofa in our living room. With a smiling face, she asks me to stand still in front of the sofa. Then, she talks to her mom who is sitting on the sofa. “Mommy, look at me. look at me.” My daughter and I make an eye-contact. Then, she jumps towards me from the top of the sofa. It is a real jump. It is a flying. She jumps like a flying squirrel. There is no fear in her eyes. Only joy. A full of happiness. One jump is never enough. She asks me to stand still in front of the sofa again. And jumps again. Sometimes, she jumps right above her mom so that her mom can view her flying more closely and clearly. Her mom has to say ‘Wow~~’ to make her satisfied. Otherwise, she complains. She seems to be proud of her action. This jumping ritual is usually repeated four or five times.
Her action makes me think. How come she does not have any fear? If I were her, I would not be able to jump like her at all due to fear. What if I do not catch her? What if I fail to catch her by accident? She will get hurt. Her arm might be broken. But, she does not think of all these risks. I know that her action is based on trust. She has a full trust in me. She fully believes that I will catch her, and there is no doubt about it. I know that she is implying “Daddy, I trust you”.
As we grow old, we have the tendency not to trust others easily. Our trust in others fades away with a good reason. We got betrayed or hurt by others’ comments or actions. If we think of it from the “give and take” viewpoint, it makes perfect sense. Once we give something or some values to others, we expect to receive or take equivalence. If we think that we received nothing, or what we received is less than what we gave, we get upset, hurt, or furious. Then, distrust in others began to grow inside us. Although this mental response makes perfect sense, it is not ideal.
I want to learn from my daughter. Like the trust she showed me, I will show my trust to the people I am with and I know of. I may get hurt sometimes, but not always. As I show my trust to others, most people or at least majority of them will show an equivalent trust in me. And I will have a higher chance of building good relationships with them, which will make my life more meaningful and valuable. I believe that the world is a better place than what we think.