January 21


Today's quotation:

Children have a remarkable talent for not taking the adult world with the kind of respect that we are so confident it ought to be given.  To the irritation of authority figures of all sorts, children expend considerable energy in “clowning around.”  They refuse to appreciate the gravity of our monumental concerns, while we forget that if we were to become more like children our concerns might not be so monumental.

Conrad Hyers

Today's Meditation:

Is it possible that we give our world too much respect?  Is it possible that the things that we deem as serious and important aren't nearly as serious and important as we've come to consider them?  Our "monumental concerns" may not be so monumental at all, depending upon the perspective we choose to look from when we consider them.

Yes, we are "confident" that our worlds ought to be given a great deal of respect, but what does that mean?  How does it help us or anyone associated with us if we're constantly absorbed by these monumental concerns and not present in the current moment?  What are we accomplishing if we're so worried about an aspect of work while we're at home that we neglect our relationships there?  What are we doing to those we love and, just as importantly, to ourselves?

If we were to become more like children, our lives would change significantly.  We would tend not to feel the need to control situations as much as we often do, and we would let go of things more easily.  Of course, these assumptions presume an idealized kind of child, but we're old enough and experienced enough to be able to step into the idealized mold if we so choose.  We wouldn't need to take on a child's self-centeredness and we wouldn't need to throw temper tantrums and the like to be children.  We would need to adopt the child's perspective and sense of wonder, and the child's ability to let things go and let others take care of stuff that they just don't want to take care of.

Our concerns are monumental because we make them so.  Their importance is a product of our thoughts and our own need to categorize, control, and perform.  On the day we die, though, those aren't the criteria upon which most of us would like to judge ourselves as we look back upon our lives.

Questions to consider:

How important are the most important concerns right now?  If you were to delegate them to someone else or lower their importance in your mind, would they still get done?

Why do we consider tasks and jobs to be of higher priority than family and friends?  Is it the fear of losing our jobs if we don't perform?  What do we sacrifice to keep our jobs?

What are some alternatives that we can search out if we want to lessen the gravity of our most important concerns?  Where can we find them?

For further thought:

I think that the ideals of youth are fine, clear and unencumbered; and that the real art of living consists in keeping alive the conscience and sense of values we had when we were young.

Rockwell Kent

more thoughts and ideas on youth



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