Welcome to The Daily Kind, where we help you stay inspired to raise humans ready for anything.
I'm Kirk Wheeler. It's March 1st, 2021. I'm so glad you're here.
Today is the first day of a new month and in the land of Kind and Curious, that means that we're going to start using a new value to frame our conversations, and this can be one of the hardest values to get right, because many times, it goes against our own human nature. But as we are moving from wonder to wisdom, we need to be able to be honest about how things are really going. That could mean being honest with the humans we are raising, honest with the people we're surrounding ourselves with, most importantly, it can mean being honest with ourselves. If you were wondering where we were going to plant the seeds of failure, this is the place, truth is the soil.
“Honesty is a gift we can give to others. It is also a source of power and an engine of simplicity.”― Sam Harris
Before we get into today's episode, let's do a quick recap of all of the values that we are working with to give some perspective as to where we are this month. Here we go.
Ignorance is the source. Failure is the seed. Truth is the soil. Courage is the root. Joy is the water. Learning is the tree. Kindness is the language. Curiosity is the map. Compassion is the path. Perfect is the enemy. Change is the constant. And justice is the fruit. Today, we're still in the early stages of the journey. Number 3 of 12 to be exact, but all of the others become so much easier if we're able to get this one right.
I love this quote from Sam Harris's book, Lying, and thinking about the truth as an engine of simplicity is such a great place to begin.
All right. Listen to this machine for a moment.
SOUND OF BROKEN MACHINE
Okay, sounds of a machine in disrepair and some people trying to fix it. This is what our machine sounds like when there's not enough truth for it to run on, lies are getting thrown into the machine, and other lies are being told to try and smooth things over just to get the machine back on track. But what happens is that everything does the opposite.
It takes more and more energy to run until something big, eventually breaks and everything grinds to a halt. And to get this machine running again, takes a lot of extra.
Okay. Now listen to this machine.
SOUND OF A SMOOTH RUNNING MACHINE
What you're hearing now is the engine of simplicity. Running smoothly on, well, truth. None of the extra overhead is required here. This is the kind of system that is much more energy efficient. It would be one of those ones with the energy star stickers you see in the appliance department at Lowe's or Home Depot.
The reason I like the machine metaphor here, is that it reminds us that this is a place where we have some control. I know that volumes of books have been written on the subject from game theory and parenting books, to philosophy and religion. This is one of the most basic things we do as humans communicate, with truth or with lies, or some combination of the two that tends to become a tangled web of our own weaving.
And we're not going to get everything running smoothly today in the few minutes we have together, but I hope this gets us started with a clear understanding of the kind of machine we are going to try to run our operating system on top of.
So what's the takeaway? (I hope the takeaway is simple.)
How can you help the humans you are raising understand that telling the truth is an engine of simplicity, that lies and deception will only slow things down and eventually bring them to a grinding halt, and that that will require much more energy to get things going again.
I hope you find this helpful. Be sure to take care of yourself today, drink some water. And remember there is no perpetual parenting playbook. We're all learning as we go. And with curiosity is our map and an engine of simplicity running on truth. We can be ready for anything.
So good luck. You've got this. I'm rooting for you.