One of the two Chinese symbols for crisis is also the symbol for opportunity – a profound notion. The world is mired in financial crises. So, according to the Chinese language, opportunity must be around here somewhere.
Embedded in economic misfortune is an opportunity to unlock the door of adult dogmatism and free the inner child. When your cup overfloweth, you dine on elaborate dinners, swim in the pools of luxury health clubs, and live in high-rises far above the grime of the streets – not places one would expect to find child-like exuberance.
Times have changed. There is no money to go out, you are not working, nor are you otherwise preoccupied. At last, you have the time to be contemplative. So, ask yourself the Socratic question: Who am I? Are you the things you possess or the places you go? No. The answer to this critical query of the soul is found by reaching back in time to rediscover the vibrant child you were, which means putting the sober adult you have become into a time-out.
Your journey starts with a one simple act.
Have Breakfast for Dinner
Breakfast for dinner was one of my favorite childhood treats. A buttered toast appetizer, egg and bacon entrée, pancake dessert, and chilled milk aperitif – delicious! Breakfast plus dinner equals something my friend calls “brinner”. However, when brinner stops being a novelty and becomes a budgetary imperative, then the word becomes “broverty” – breakfast for dinner because you live in poverty.
Look closely at broverty and you will find a time-space portal back to childhood. Remember Anton Ego’s reaction to the first bite of Remy’s cooking in the 2007 animated classic, Ratatouille? Yes, it is exactly like that. Broverty is the first step toward a spiritual awakening.
Go For A Splash
You cannot afford a luxury pool anymore. So, as a next step on your journey, revive the childhood water sport of splashing in puddles. Puddles have no 30-minute limit, no ropes to keep you in bounds, and will leave no chlorine smell in your hair – it’s just you, a puddle, and a playful leap back to the time when being reckless was the whole point of being alive.
But, avoid the puddles in Times Square. It is impossible to know what simmers in those puddles besides water, if water is even part of the recipe.
Have a Sleepover
Did you like sleepovers as a kid? Great. Go to friend’s place, get in your pajamas, order pizza, watch scary movies, stay up late, and be young again, if only for one night. You can tell your friend that you were evicted tomorrow, or the next day, or whenever.
When they catch on, call another friend, and repeat. Couch surfing counts as cardio.
The Chinese language is right: in the midst of misfortune, we find opportunity. Have you ever felt as free as you did when you were splashing in puddles? Ever had friends like the ones who slept over at your house one night just so you would sleep over at their house the next? What happened to that supernova of boundless potential, creativity, and optimism? You went to college and found a job. Then, you got downsized, that’s what.
Through the portal of broverty you can rediscover the spirit of childhood, the spark that gives rise to the fires that propel humanity upward towards the heavens. You can leave the life you had behind forever with no regrets.
Now is the time to let your inner child out of the basement and once again reach for greatness. Now is the time for you to become the only thing that can save you and the world – yourself.
Go ahead. Give it a shot. It’s not like you have to be up for work in the morning.