Living in the Now

By Greg Baer M.D.

May 13, 2016

When I was about thirteen I worked at a summer camp where all the kids had Down Syndrome. Prior to that, I’d had no experience with this disorder, so I was fascinated as I interacted with them.

The majority of Down Syndrome kids are in the mild to moderate range of mental retardation, which was the case with all the kids I saw at the camp. As I worked with them, I had to face an apparent contradiction. At that point in life, I had concluded that happiness came from being intelligent and competent. These kids, however, consistently appeared to be genuinely happier than I was, despite their being—generally speaking—neither intelligent nor competent.

I quickly dismissed the apparent contradiction, but many years later I came to understand what I’d seen in the camp. These kids derived enormous enjoyment from whatever they were doing in any given moment: stringing beads, playing games, or eating lunch.

And now I try to follow the example of these simple children I knew in summer camp. They were happy in the NOW, no matter what they were doing. I still try to be more like them, and I believe I’m getting closer.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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