Could We Just Delight In Who We Are?


I walked into an office one day and there she was – the cutest little thing staring up at me with those big eyes! She waved and said, “Bye!” as she tottered out behind her daddy. Oh my gosh! What complete openness in her face, in her heart! She was just being who she was.

Where does that delight, that freedom go? After raising five kids – and having been a kid myself – I thought about that wide-eyed wonder we are born with. We hit the world running, full of life, ready to express our joy!

And then we get told. Everything that’s wrong with us. Don’t do that, don’t touch, don’t talk like that. Make the bed this way. Say the word that way. Be good. Don’t be bad. And then we get schooled. Your answer is wrong. You hit the wrong note. This essay gets a C. Seems correction and expectations are the mainstays of childhood.

Oh sure, I realize we must learn. We have to mature and understand, and find out what works and what doesn’t. But must correction, must behavior be the goal of those around us… or could they trust us in the process a little more? Could they just delight in who we are – so WE can delight in who we are?

My friend loved to play the piano, but her mother pounced on every note she missed as though she would get a prize for it. She also hated the dissonant sound of the black keys and told her not to play them. My friend stopped playing for some twenty years. When he finally played again, she played only the black keys!

I wonder. I wonder if it could be more like the process of Michelangelo carving the marble statue of David. Michelangelo really did not create David; he simply carved away what wasn’t David, until David emerged.

He just lovingly let the stone develop into the David that was always there. I wonder if we had that mindset with our children, our spouse, or even ourselves – what would emerge?

3 thoughts on “Could We Just Delight In Who We Are?

  1. Reminds me of a blog I wrote last year. I write mostly about Equality, and human rights.
    Sparkly Rocks
    This has nothing to do with rights, nothing to do with Equality. I’m not going to rant about what’s happening in the world, or about violence, injustice, bigotry or hatred. This is not the kind of thing I usually even think a lot about. This is about us…Adults.
    Tonight, a friend of mine took her two year old grandson to the drive-in to see the movie “Cars.” I guess the town she lives in was part of a Route 66 International Festival, and they showed the movie for free, along with a display of classic cars, bouncy castles, and a bunch of other stuff for kids.
    Once she got home, she uploaded pictures of her grandson having a great time.
    What I saw was a beautiful little boy, and in every picture his eyes were like saucers, his smile was huge, and his face just glowed. This, to him, was the most amazing adventure he’d had in his (to us) short life. I couldn’t help but smile at the look of wonder on that little face.
    Then it hit me. Where is that sense of wonder for us? Why do we no longer see joy in simple things like going to see a movie? When did we, as adults, lose the ability to find that kind of pleasure?
    I remember a walk around the block with my son used to take three to four times as long as it did alone, because he’d stop and look at everything! Every sparkly rock was picked up (and more often than not, brought home.) Every bird, and animal had to be checked out, usually with a hundred questions about what type of bird or animal it was, where it lived, etc. Everything was new to him. Now…not so much.
    It kind of saddens me that this sense of wonder, of adventure is lost to us.
    But is it really lost? Or do we just suppress it, in the rush that is our lives? Do we let what’s “important” take over? What would happen if, just for a few minutes, we looked at things like we did when we were little? How would we see the most “ordinary” items? This is something that I think would be a definite improvement in our lives. We need to do this. We need to bring back the joy of looking at things, and truly seeing them for the first time in years. We have to find the pleasure in doing things we normally find boring and repetitive, in order to take the boring out of our lives.
    I’d love nothing more than to see pictures of adults with the same wide eyed, joy filled face as I saw in my friend’s grandson tonight.
    We need to stop…bend over…and pick up sparkly rocks.

  2. I could watch children for hours! I treasure their innocence and pray that someone does not take that from them before they can speak up for themselves. There has been a movement in academic advising in higher education that focuses on the strengths of the student rather than their weaknesses. Advisors can also attend institutes in Appreciative Advising. We need to move this way of thinking into our daily lives. I was fortunate to have a supervisor see the strengths I had not seen and I flourished under him. Imagine the world we could live in if we focused on the strengths instead of just pointing out the weaknesses!

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