There is a brilliant ad campaign by a British company called “Be More Dog.” That’s the name of the campaign, not the company. I say take it further: Be More Otter!
Or be more of whatever inspires you to call out your inner child, to free yourself to enjoy moments that aren’t pinned down with obligations and commitment and drudgery of daily life. The more we do this, the better we are able to handle the “grownup” stuff…and the more creativity we allow into our lives. After all, creativity hinges on “what ifs.” What-ifs often begin in the outlandish and absurd – for those who dare to take the off-ramps, dare to…ooh, say it with me… play.
I babysat the 5-year old son of friends to let the grups have some adult time and said 5-year old was not happy about this. He made it known, with arms crossed and wearing a deep frown, that he was going to stay in his bedroom until his parents came home. They left. He kept his promise. At least, that was his intention. I went into his room and told him that I completely understood his position, but should he be interested, I thought he should know that I had brought my big paper and paints. I went back out into the living room to entertain his 2-year old brother. A few minutes later, I saw a head peek around the corner. “Did you really bring your paint?”
He then sat at the table to begin his watercolour masterpiece. Looking at it, well, one might say it was a mess of paints, mostly dark colours. Curious, as he seemed to be painting with intention, I asked him what he was painting. He then began to tell me the most interesting story of what I was viewing. It’s sad that most of us outgrow that. And it’s sad that most adults don’t spend much time in the world of children — their imaginations can take them, and us, if we let them, into amazing places.
Then we have dogs. Creatures that we bring into our homes that have the ability to create joy by their seemingly complete inability to judge us on anything other than how good we are at rubbing them the right way. Literally rubbing, or scratching: under the chin, behind the ears, on the top of the head… Everything is exciting. Everything seems to be given a clean swipe each morning, so everything is new again.
And then there are otters. They take it to a whole new level. Watching them at play is watching boundless energy; it’s watching a living being attacking life with complete abandon.
So be more otter! Or dog or child. Your life with be richer for it. Be more of something that takes you out of your normal and allows you to be more excited about the little things, more able to handle the crappy things. After all, an otter wouldn’t let the slow idiot blocking traffic ruin his day – he’d laugh, turn up the tunes and enjoy the extra time to listen to good music. Or some other happy equivalent.