Innocence and simplicity. Life starts out with the bare essentials. The elementary necessities of survival - food, shelter, clothing. Somewhere along the way we set about to accumulate more, believing we need more in order to have a fulfilled life. Before long, simplicity becomes complexity whilst innocence turns to corruption and eventual dissatisfaction of some aspect of life. At that moment, we lose sight of what it means to truly enjoy life.
Saturday morning as I was sitting at The Hideout Coffeehouse downtown and enjoying my flat white coffee and pumpkin muffin, I noticed a man and his son at a neighboring table. The boy must have been perhaps 9 or 10 years old and was busy explaining something to his father in a most enthusiastic manner. I heard the conversation but did not listen. I merely observed the gestures of the boys' hands as they waved about. He was excited to explain to his attentive father his latest thoughts. I smiled as I witnessed this experience. Albeit I was not tuned in to the words the boy was saying, the son's fervour spoke volumes.
At that moment, I wondered at which age we lose the joy and spirit we once had as children. The time in our lives which were once simple and innocent. A time when we possessed the carefree nature of an unjaded heart and an inquisitive mind. When everything seemed possible and we viewed the world as an endless stream of possibilities.
Children need far less than we think they do. Even less than we lead them to believe they do. They need not a room filled with toys, electronics to keep them passively entertained, or endless extracurricular activities which take time away from their thoughts. What children need most of all - beyond the elementary necessities - is love and an attentive ear to listen to their impassioned cries of joy and enthusiasm. To help build confidence and develop their inquisitive minds.