Do you still gaze in wonder at the stars in the sky? Do you still dream of soaring as you watch the eagle fly? Can you still see the world for all the good it has to give? When you look at life through the eyes of a child, that’s when you truly live.
I spend a lot of time with adults who are anxious, depressed, fearful, critical, inert, hopeless. Some have dementia, others do not... Many are patients, some are friends and acquaintances and others are family.
I spend a little time with children who are inquisitive, creative, joyful, accepting, energetic, optimistic. Some will stay this way, others will not... When do we leave our inner child behind and put on the cynicism of adulthood?
Why do we need to be with children in order to make crazy glasses out of paper, coloured cellophane, pipe cleaners and lots and lots of sticky tape?
I think each staff meeting at work should start with an activity like this. We could all wear our funny glasses as we review the agenda which includes finding ways to trim ten million dollars from the hospital budget in the next fiscal year. Perhaps we would laugh instead of feeling angry and anxious about inevitable changes down the road.
There are children who have faced hardship and death out of season and in many instances they have inspired others with their faith and optimism. I Never Saw Another Butterfly is a collection of poems and drawings done by Jewish children who spent time in the Terezin Concentration Camp during World War 2. Very few of them survived, and while many of the selections speak of the horror of the place, there is courage and resilience in the words and images.
My heart still beats inside my breast While friends depart for other worlds. Perhaps it’s better – who can say? – Than watching this, to die today?
No, no, my God, we want to live! Not watch our numbers melt away. We want to have a better world, We want to work – we must not die!
Eva Pickova ~12 years old
We can be overwhelmed by real or perceived evil and misfortune around us, or we can look through eyes that see beauty, joy and hope in the future. In Matthew 18, Jesus' disciples asked him this question;-
“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
(Jesus) called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me..."