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Category Archives: innocence

“The tragedy of life is what dies in the hearts and souls of people while they live.”  Albert Einstein

Isn’t that the truth? First of all, think about when you were a child. You had a sense of wonder about everything, because everything was new to you. Children believe in things that adults often don’t, because no one (yet) told them not to. As a child, we are trusting. We will smile at someone that adults would turn away from. We have not yet learned prejudice, judgement, or fear. Children are accepting. They will be a friend to those that the world scorns.

As a child, we are always learning, always asking questions, and always wanting to know more. There is simply not enough time to understand all we want to grasp.

Children have an innocence–a purity that is like freshly fallen snow.  And in that innocence there is such a freedom, to be who they are. The world quickly tries to steal that.

And think about the magic of dreams. As a teenager, we think we can do anything, be anything. The whole world lies before us, and it’s a time when we refuse to face our own mortality, because we feel completely immortal, and invincible. While it may not always be the wisest thing, perhaps it is necessary to see ourselves this way, in order to propel us forward into all that the future holds.

As a young adult, we do not fear extreme sickness or death. That only happens to old people, and we are vital and strong, full of hope and anticipation–ready to conquer the world.

Love is an ethereal thing, a feeling of pure ecstasy and passion. We think it will last forever, and throw all caution to the wind. We are not measured with our feelings, or careful with our show of affection. We simply blurt out “I Love You” every chance we get, and blow kisses on the wind.

So when did all this change? When did we become jaded about life? When did we cease to believe in childhood fantasies? When did we stop smiling at the outcasts of society, and start turning and running away? When did we stop trusting? When did we lose our sense of wonder and amazement about life? Who took our innocence? When did we begin to fear, and start to focus on our limitations?  When did words of love become fewer and fewer? When was passion replaced with indifference? (Which by the way, is truly worse than hatred.) When did we become cautious and guarded? When did we lose our dreams?

There is a time to grow up and mature–a time to put away childish things, but there is never a time to discard our childlikeness. We cannot even enter the Kingdom of Heaven (according to Jesus) unless we become like a little child.  He said “Of such is the Kingdom of God.”

I challenge you today– don’t let these things die, while you still live. Let a sense of awe remain in your heart all the days of your life. Be innocent and pure, without prejudice or arrogance. Don’t lose your childhood sense of freedom.  Be accepting of those that the world rejects. Crave Godly knowledge, for there is always something new to learn right up until your last breath (and even beyond.) Don’t be afraid to express your love, and do it today, because you are not promised tomorrow.

Believe in your inner strength. You can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens you. He tells us that as our days are, so shall our strength be. Always sufficient strength and grace for each new day–whatever we may face. Do not fear, but walk in faith.

Keep dreaming, keep trusting, keep believing! Keep searching for the Truth with all your heart and soul. Refuse to let these things die.  And while the way may be rough at times (as surely it will be) it will never be said that your life was tragic, because you truly lived each day, and knew what it was to be free…

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“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  Pablo Picasso

Perhaps we are most like God when we are creating. As a child, we all create, because we all freely imagine. We are all artists, whether we are creating a picture for mom’s refrigerator gallery, or building sandcastles on the beach. When we are creative, we are happy and fulfilled. We mold clay into fun shapes, we finger-paint delightfully messy murals, we color, we draw, we dress up in our own creative designs, and we smile. We smile because we are free to express all that’s within us. Free to say, “I see the world in a different way than you.”

But one day, someone comes along and says, “You must stay inside the lines.” It is then that our creativity is stifled. For staying inside the lines, means being conventional, law-abiding, and heavily confined. We saw beauty outside the lines, and loved to play freely on the edges.

But someone came along, and gave us a new definition of what was acceptable. And the minute we conformed to their image, we lost our innocent creativity. We lost our own unique way of interpreting life. We lost our originality. We lost so much when we stayed within the lines.

Oh yes, the picture was pleasant, with no dissonance or confusion, but pleasant is not always imaginative. Pleasant is not always powerful. And pleasant is not always artistic.

I suspect that true creativity belongs to those who venture outside the lines, whether in art or life…

Please read other articles that I have written here: http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
By:  Kahlil Gibran

I read my friend’s blog tonight, and she was talking about how no one owns their children; they are on loan. And that reminded me once again of Kahlil Gibran’s prose about children. I have always loved this one, and have found it to be true in my life also.

How true it is that our children do not belong to us. We try desperately to give them our thoughts for awhile, and yet they have their own thoughts. (Just as we have ours.) When they reach an age of independence, they are finding their way, and they are torn between needing our help, and needing to be on their own.  I remember that feeling clearly. There was such an excitement about being alive, and I was sure that no one else knew the things that I knew, or felt the things that I felt. I was learning that parents weren’t always right about everything, and some rules seemed worth breaking. I guess we all go through at least a little rebellion. It’s part of finding ourselves. And we certainly develop our own thoughts. We do not want to do it their way…we want to find our own way. Even mistakes are part of the journey.

But parents know what life is truly like, and we (as young people) are just learning-just beginning to see some truths. There is for most of us, little sorrow yet. Therefore, we think that life is one big carnival ride, and the seats are rocking back and forth, and our feet are dangling, and we’re invincible. That’s not to say we don’t feel pain. It’s just that we are not yet intimately connected with it.

As parents, we can house our children’s bodies, but not their souls. He says that their souls live in the house of tomorrow-a place we cannot visit, even in our dreams. Doesn’t that just paint a picture, a melancholy feeling of watching a child walk into the future, and knowing that you cannot hug him on the other side, because it is their future, and not your own? Yes, you can share some of it (often from a distance), but you cannot dance into all of their tomorrows. And there is a sadness when this is realized.

He says you may strive to be like them, but don’t try to make them like you. How can we strive to be like them? I think in innocence, in anticipation, in excitement, in joy, in unconditional love, in singing, in dancing, in trusting, in faith, and in believing.

Jesus said that we could not enter the kingdom of heaven except we become like a little child. A little one with childlike faith, who trusts and believes innocently. A child with no doubt, because all things are possible with children. A child who loves from the heart without prejudice or conditions. The purity of a child is a beautiful thing to behold.

There is a time in your life when you become focused on what they (your children) will achieve, and how they will accomplish it, more than you are focused on your own dreams. It is a time when parents become mentors, advisers, and even friends, but never again reluctant dictators.

You can sense that time is moving on. There are new inventions, new ways of doing things, and the past is in the rear-view mirror, and can only faintly still be seen. Gibran writes, “…for life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday.”

I understand that separation. There were days when I longed to almost drag my mom into my reality, into life as I was living it, but I could not bring her fully with me. And so it goes with all of us.

As parents, we are the bow that sends the living arrows into the future, but it is the Archer (who guides us) that directs the swiftness and the distance of the arrows, to His directed destination. It is His will that we bend to His might, and remain flexible under His leading. For they are truly His children, and not ours. So He asks us to bend with gladness to His will, and to trust Him that the arrows will hit their mark.

For His love is not only for our children, but also for us…

 (To stay on my blog and view this, press the arrow in the middle of the video, but DO NOT press on the screen where they have written “Press Play”. That will take you to YouTube. So just press the arrow as you do on all these, and then wait patiently for her to come out.)

Please view other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html