virgin islands scene

Never do things others can do and will do, if there are things others cannot do or will not do.
-- Amelia Earhart


Friday, March 8, 1996

The little things

Children have a wonderful way of appreciating the little things in life. Our two year old daughter gushes with delight when she discovers that her shirt has a pretty bow on it. Even our older daughter can amuse herself for hours with just some paper and scissors and glue.

Are the lives of children so boring that they’re easily excited by trivial things? No, I don’t think so. Most children lead fairly complex, interesting lives. But they have not yet learned to take things for granted. Children have a delightful sense of wonder and excitement. Everything has possibilities. A discarded piece of lumber can become a bicycle ramp. A stack of computer printouts can become a hundred paper dolls. Children are not burdened with a lot of pre-conceived notions. Their minds are very open. They see things in new and exciting ways, because they don’t know what is “supposed” to be there.

Children are endlessly creative in ways that few adults can even hope to be. It is a shame that this open-mindedness and creativity gradually fade away as children become adults. As we learn more about how the world works, things begin to lose their magic. As we become more logical and educated, we tend to look right past the beauty and wonder that surrounds us.

A big part of maturity is discipline, which puts a damper on the impulsiveness of youth. Discipline is a very necessary thing. We wouldn’t want to remain carefree children forever. However, like most things, discipline must be balanced with a healthy amount of serendipity. The world doesn’t always act the way it should, and there are delightful discoveries to be made by letting go of assumptions.

Growing older is inevitable. However, there is nothing that prevents you from maintaining a child-like wonder at the possibilities that surround you. Look around you, and take pleasure in the simple things. It will keep you forever young at heart.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.