Today at lunch, I found myself holding the credit card to pay for our visiting team’s lunch. I made a joke to one of our team members that after lunch we would hit the Champs-Elysees to buy shoes and handbags from top designers. (Note. I would never actually do this. Come on.)
One of the children on our team overheard this, and quickly piped up, “If I had the card, I would buy a Nintendo DS and some marbles.” I couldn’t control my laughter from this comment that came out of nowhere, but as I laughed I also realized that what she had just said was very poignant. To this adorable little girl, nothing could be more valuable than marbles, because she enjoys playing with them. To her, the enjoyment of this seemingly worthless item makes it worthy of buying above anything else.
It got me thinking. I don’t really value shoes. I could care less which designer has stamped their name all over the bag that holds my wallet and chapstick. I want those things because everyone else wants those things. I want things that everyone else will look at and feel envy. (Being transparent enough for you yet?)
Sophia absolutely challenged me with the exposure of her simple delight today. What are my marbles? What are the things which, to the world represent something of very little value but to me are priceless? I thought of a few, and would challenge you to think of your own.
After I stopped laughing uncontrollably, Sophia and her sister asked me very honestly what I found funny. I told them simply that sometimes I forget the simplicity of childhood and told them to not try to grow up too fast. As adults, we build mountains of debt buying things that don’t really matter or make us happy. We need to find our metaphoric marbles, the things that truly make us happy. The things that don’t bring us joy in and of themselves, but represent friendship and sharing and love. For Sophia, these marbles represent games with friends and things to talk about. They represent sharing things you enjoy.
Where do we get away from that? How do we get back?