Two Meters Apart

Nine months ago my third child was born. My middle child was almost eight years old at the time, so I was quite unprepared to the amount of time I would spend… on the floor. The time we are spending together is spent either with him on my hands, or with me on the floor. And since my back is challenged as it is and for him there’s that much you can spend without “running” around , we both prefer the floor option.

At first it was just strange. Grownups don’t usually spend so much time sitting (or lying) on the floor. But then it became interesting. I actually started looking around from ground level and at the same time I began to imagine how it must feel to get to know the world from that perspective.

When we have a chance to look at the world from a different perspective, like for example from ground level, we naturally interpret what we see based on the knowledge and experience we have. Our mind knows “the right” size and shape of everyday objects, so we see them through that filter, even when the perspective changes. But imagine how a baby experiences the world. He doesn’t have the knowledge or experience to cross reference what he sees with familiar things. So a normal chair from his ground-level perspective is as big as a grownup human or even a building; the ceiling is as high as the sky; and his parents can literally touch the moon.

So now, when I play with my baby child on the floor, especially (but not only) in a new place, I look for new things in familiar ones. I try to be amazed by them as only a child seeing them for the first time and from ground level can be.

Literally changing your perspective is enlightening. It’s the first step in being able to see things from different perspectives in the broader (more abstract) sense. Yes, lying on the floor in the middle of the room might feel strange at first. But consider this as an expedition to an uncharted territory.

And to balance things, when you get up, try also looking at things from as high above as you can. Don’t look at them as merely smaller. Instead try to look for things you haven’t seen before.


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