April 29

Today's quotation:

I am often accused of being childish.  I prefer to interpret that as child-like.  I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things.  I tend to exaggerate and fantasize and embellish.  I still listen to instinctual urges.  I play with leaves.  I skip down the street and run against the wind.  I never water my garden without soaking myself.  It has been after such times of joy that I have achieved my greatest creativity and produced my best work.

Leo Buscaglia
Bus 9 to Paradise

Today's Meditation:

There's absolutely nothing wrong with acting like a child in many ways.  Of course, we don't want to throw tantrums and start crying because we can't find our pencil, but other than those things, acting like a child can be a wonderful way to approach the world.  Children see the world the way it is--full of magic and wonder--while the adults that we're supposed to act like tend to see things as routine and boring and "normal."  Adults never skip, it seems, and we're more interested in propriety than we are in anything else.

I love it when someone hands me a bottle of bubbles waiting to be made, or a jump rope or a Frisbee.  Whenever I go to group functions, I usually end up playing with the kids because the adults generally sit around, not using any of the energy they've been given, talking about the same things they talk about all the time.  I've already talked about those things, but I haven't played tag with these particular kids.  And when we move on to something else, the kids will use their imaginations to decide what to do, while the adults will move by rote to something else that they've already done a million times.

This isn't an attempt to slam adults--obviously, many good things come from adults.  But all in all, they've left behind many of the great qualities of being a child in favor of adopting quite a few not-so-great-qualities of being adults.  We can enrich our lives greatly by not abandoning the things that make childhood great--the sense of wonder, the non-judgmental acceptance of others, the holy curiosity, risk-taking and daring.

Rather than criticize people who act child-like, it may be worth our while to learn from them.  Childish is one thing, and it can be very negative, but child-like can be a way of acting in the world that allows us to get more out of all these wonderful gifts that we have.

Questions to consider:

Why do we tend to abandon even the positive elements of childhood?

Why do we tend to see people who haven't abandoned those elements as childish rather than child-like?

What kinds of things did you do, and what ways did you look at the world when you were a child, that might be positive for you now?

For further thought:

The real you is still a little child who never grew up.  Sometimes that little child comes out when you are having fun or playing, when you feel happy, when you are painting, or writing poetry, or playing the piano, or expressing yourself in some way.  These are the happiest moments of your life-- when the real you comes out, when you don't care about the past and you don't worry about the future.  You are childlike.

Don Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements

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