As I age, several noticable insights occur to me. One obvious realization is that I am slowing down physically-much to my dislike, and I have more aches & pains than when I was younger. I know many of you can relate, and if you can’t, just wait !
Another realization which is not new to me, but continues to be reflected in our culture, is the speed in which our social fabric as a people and nation is changing. I know that every generation has dislikes about the next one and visa versa, but with the proliferation of digital social media, there are so many divisive issues which explode upon us daily. And, they do affect us.
Much to my dismay, I have become more cynical, and I detest being so. This, too, is another realization, but one I am striving to change. I believe this is one reason I love nature so much because God’s natural world thrives without human foibles and selfish motives. Certainly, aspects of nature seem to be cruel, but it is also pure and almost limitless in its bounty and beauty..
There is a profound and positive influence at this juncture in my life that I wish to expound upon briefly. Children, and in particular, my grandchildren. When we have conversations about serious to silly stuff, I almost always come away enlightened. Although they lack perspective which only comes through years and trials, they provide a response which is so appealing to me. From simple faith to questioning hard things, a child’s mind is a wonderful gift to all of us. They see the world with a freshness before it becomes tarnished with many of life’s negative experiences.
In 1957, Art Linkletter wrote a book entitled, “Kids Say the Darnest Things“. He was a prolific author and a television personality who hosted a TV show called House Party which aired from 1952 to 1970. He showcased everyday children who provided unrehearsed answers to questions he posed. Most answers were insightful and often extremely funny. As some may recall, Bill Cosby had a TV show using Art’s book title which aired from 1998 to 2000. He used the same format as Art’s show which resulted in the same innocent and stunning responses to his questions.
Life changes all of us;sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst. Children grow to become teenagers. Teens become young adults. They, in turn, become middle aged adults-some with kids and some without. Then the middle-aged folk become seniors (I really don’t like that term, but we must be called something, I guess).
This is the part where young children provide us with unadulterated beauty. One doesn’t have to be a parent or grandparent to recognize this fact…one simply has to be open to their existence and contribution. I am a realist and know that not everything which proceeds from a child’s voice is pleasant. Screams, argueing, whinning, backtalking, etc. can be nerve-racking. However, I submit that given a decent environment and opportunities, a child’s voice-which is just an extension of his or her’s heart and thoughts-can have a positive impact upon our daily outlook and response to life. They do for me.
I look forward to many more enlightenments.