November 30


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:

It's not such a big deal, I often tell my adult friends as they worry about their jobs, their responsibilities, their homes, and so many other aspects of their lives.  I know that these things are very important, but in my experience, I've almost never seen my adult friends not take care of these responsibilities, no matter how much worrying they've done about them.  And once the responsibilities are taken care of, then all of the worrying was for naught-- just wasted time that could have been spent on something else much more enjoyable than worrying.

Kids know things have to be done, but they aren't as caught up in timetables or deadlines as we are.  They aren't as worried about what other people will think of them if they do something a bit late, or if they forget to take care of something.  Somehow, the world will go on, they know.  I know many people who almost never relax, almost never play, almost never enjoy themselves just by being silly.  Their lives have become somehow grey and dim, and their concerns have grown to overpower or overwhelm them.

I firmly believe that adults aren't here to teach kids how to live-- kids are here to teach us about life, if only we're willing to take lessons from them.  Their perspectives are refreshing and uplifting, and their ability to live life to the fullest can teach us much about life and living.  We respect the institutions of the "adult world" because we're supposed to respect them, but the only reason they stick around is because not enough people question the "wisdom" behind them.  Are we really more respectable when we wear a suit and tie?  Are our most productive hours really between eight and five?  Do we really have to be so serious all the time?

Yes, it's important that we somehow respect the institutions of life, but if we take them too seriously, we run the risk of losing a lot of fun in life.  And I'm completely convinced that life was meant to be fun, and that we are meant to learn how to have fun by learning from the children who are all around us, and who don't take life too seriously.

Questions to ponder:

1.  How seriously do you take life?  Does that allow you to have fun?

2.  How do you define fun?

3.  Why do our concerns and worries tend to grow so strong in our lives?

For further thought:

Have you ever watched small children playing alone in a room?  They will talk to themselves, and they will answer.  They will dress themselves up.  They sing and dance.  A small child in a room all alone can have a marvelous time entertaining him or herself.  Children can do this not only because they have an innocence that helps them to rise above the cares of the world; they don’t mind being alone with their thoughts and dreams.  They don’t mind acting out their fantasies.  They can live their lives beyond the expectations of others.  In a room all alone, children have no inhibitions.  They have nothing to prove and no one to satisfy but themselves.  They feel free!
They are unencumbered by opinions and directives.
It happens because nobody is watching them.
   Live your life like nobody is watching you.

Iyanla Vanzant

more thoughts and ideas on children



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