“A child is happily absorbed with her own games in the playground. All of a sudden she shocks herself by performing a flip. Kids around her, whom she’d hardly noticed, are laughing and clapping. She repeats the flip to see if they’ll clap again. All over the playground, kids are going, ‘Look at me! Look at me!,” happy when they get the response they want, disappointed when they don’t. The first child isn’t sure what she’s discovered, but it feels exciting. She thinks perhaps she’s found the key to being included. She goes to work on a new flip with a motive that she didn’t have before. She’s no longer fooling around to amuse herself. Her focus has shifted to the response she wants from the others, and with that comes the anxiety that she won’t get it.
By the time we leave childhood, a lot of us are still doing flips of one kind or another, seeking approval from almost everyone . . . it becomes so much a part of our lives . . . we hardly know we are doing it.”
– a story from Byron Katie