I can’t stop thinking about this tweet thread. I think it may be one of the most precious threads on Twitter. Hopefully that’s saying something since I’ve been plugging along, almost daily, on Twitter since 2009.
Here’s my experience with it…I’m sure you have your own and I’d love to hear about it in the comments if you’d be willing to share:
Yesterday, I woke early with insomnia around 4am-something in the morning. Instead of doing what I should have, I grabbed my phone and found myself on Twitter. Just before 5am I read a beautiful series of tweets from a South African pediatrician who cares for children at the end of life. He’d taken to Twitter in the early morning hours (Seattle time) to share messages from children at the end of life. Distillation of what they enjoyed most. Things they knew. Worries, gratitudes, and love housed within them. Innocent and nearly angelic.
I read it. I cried. I re-read it. I sent it to a few people I love. For some reason I didn’t retweet it. I have no idea why except that I think I held it so dear I wasn’t even sure what to say. I plopped it into a blog post from 2 days ago, I sent it to some smart researchers who work with children and teens and think/study/intervene on ways to improve resilience, happiness, and stress.
A perspective from the front-line-end-line-solid-lines-of-meaning in being alive is an ever-relevant and precious gift. Hard to think of any other advice that matters more. When I read the tweet thread in the early morning hours it had something like 100 likes on it. There are now, as I type this, about 100,000. That’s a lot; clearly I’m not alone in meaning-making with this.
I love twitter for this reason – I love that we have a tool to scale the wisdom in children.
Nothing better online, in my opinion, than gifts from the profound about what matters most to us all. Such a different harmony compared to the political and divisive garbage songs we’re constantly exposed to online right now.
I thought about the tweet all day. Then, after a work party last night, where we coincidentally celebrated a new Seattle Children’s app we’ve just begun piloting with teens (designed to improve resilience, gratitude-finding, goal-setting, and stress management — more on that to come!), I went home to my boys. We ate cake in the kitchen, I over-exuded expressions of love, and we read extra chapters together of our current out-loud book, The Wild Robot.
If you do anything today, I suggest clicking on his twitter thread and learning from these experiences. Even if you don’t use – or don’t like – Twitter, you’ll like this. Thanks, Dr. McAlpine.