“Yes…they are three of my grandchildren. What are they doing looking at me through binoculars? What can they now see that they didn’t see before? More of my face? Absolutely! More of my soul? Oh well…maybe. As they look at me, I am looking at them through a telephoto camera lens. What do I see? Daring, fun-filled, exploratory teenagers (now young adults). We all laugh. This could seem quite odd but not for us.
“We had a discussion about prejudice (racial, gender, religious, sexual orientation and the like). Really? Very definitely. Since all of us in our family have different color skins, different genes, different histories, and different futures, and hail from different racial groups, can we hold hands not only with each other but everyone around us? That was another discussion. And then we all shared views about exclusion and inclusion and acts of kindness (and whether they require reciprocation).
“These youngsters were on holiday with Samahria (Mopi) and me (Popi)…just the five of us. Did they go horseback riding and glide down a zip line and swim and eat pizza? Sure. But the legacy of our relationship will be those talks (at least that’s what I believe). Also, what a blessing that these kids were willing to talk about these very compelling subjects about humanity and willing to give their opinions and input.
“Just before we drove them to the airport, my grandson Zavier put his hand on my arm and said: ‘Popi, you’re a good mentor.’ I asked him why he said that. ‘Because, Popi…you and Mopi are interested in what we think and feel and teach us how to be happy.’
“I was delightfully stunned and touched…and even as I write this, I feel a deep sense of gratitude to have their children in our midst and so much gratitude for what we have learned and what we teach for what we have learned and what we teach informs not only all my interactions with our grandchildren but with everyone else we know and meet.”
Love, Bears (Barry Neil Kaufman), Co-Founder of the
Option Institute and Author of Happiness Is A Choice