This world, has a way of making even the most optimistic person a cynic. By the time you’re 30 or 35 you’ve been beaten down enough times and have read enough stories about corruption within government, scandals within churches of every denomination, people going crazy on their spouses, backstabbing best friends, as well as war throughout the planet over century long disagreements that honestly, nobody can truly remember how they started. Everyday we see people arguing on facebook, posting hateful comments on CNN.com and spoiled twenty something year old athletes with the world at their fingertips throwing it all away with a stupid decision at 2 a.m. at a local strip club.
There are indeed some angry people in the world and all too often we are reminded of how selfish and cold people can be. When you live through a divorce you feel the full weight of this negativity and find it difficult not to take a lot of it personally. In short it’s very easy to start to believe the world is a horrible place filled with negativity and people all out to get you. We quickly begin to build a fortress around our world, our family and our hearts allowing the negativity to build within ourselves as well.
Enter the child; convinced the world is there to help them and that there is truly a chance the deal on e-bay offering a 32gb, 5th gen i-pod touch for $15.00 is legit and a chance to score a bargain. Positive that they themselves can change the world with a glue-gun, a pitcher of lemonade and a pair of sunglasses.
I can’t tell you how many times in the past several years my daughter has come to me with a crazy idea that I initially squashed without thinking because “I’ve already been there and it doesn’t work.” Imagine using our own defeats as a means of telling a kid why they can’t achieve something rather than look at it as a “well here’s what I did and it didn’t work … how can we approach it differently this time?” Thanks to her persistence she has all too often proven me wrong. But all too often I’ve gotten more annoyed by her ‘pushing’ than impressed by her “insistence that it can be done.”
My kids don’t quit. When they want something bad enough, hell or high water, they’re going to make it happen. That was me thirty years ago. Long before life and the world wore down my edge. And my kids achieve just as
I did. As we get older it’s so easy to just say, “can’t be done” or “what’s the point?” And yet I’m seeing through the eyes of my children how important it is to not give up. To just blatantly defy the universe and pursue a dream with all of the fervor of a three year old determined to find a way to get the cookie off of the top of the refrigerator.
How many times this week have you given up on something by talking yourself out of the possibilities? How many times did your experiences over the past few decades cause you to just turn around and go lay down on the couch and mope? How many? Can you fit them on your fingers? Have you forgotten how to trust life, the cosmos and the people around you?
The world can suck sometimes. But rather than teach our children to be cynics and to doubt the possibilities, perhaps it’s time we start to learn from our children as they remind us of what happens when you believe that anything is possible. Their energy, their passion, their desire can be infectious if we take a moment to turn off the noise in our heads and listen to the clearness of their reasoning that we all too often brush off as ignorant bliss.
The world needs us to fight the negativity and hatred. It needs us to focus on the positive and to believe that we can achieve anything we put our minds too. It needs us to spread a smile and a can do attitude. The universe is desperate for people to demonstrate how much fun and refreshing life can be if we’ll just get off our ass, screw how cold the water is, run off the dock and go jump in the lake. And sitting right next to you is a child that can fuel that energy if we’ll take the time to plug into it rather than turn it off.