Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Let's be more aware of all the choices, situations, twists and turns that brought us to this place right here and now. They May Be Miracles.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Babies and Children Are The Answer To World Peace

There is no doubt in my mind that babies and children are the answer...the world peace.  Dan and I only have three children, but each time we had a newborn and would go into public somewhere it was like bringing the sunshine itself into the atmosphere around us.  Often times it would seem as though a rock-star had walked into the room, store, down the sidewalk, in the park...wherever we would go the new baby would attract attention from complete strangers.  I can't tell you how many times a person would tell me that it brightened their day just to look at my baby.  And there are countless times that a friend or family member would take the baby from my arms so they could hold it and get their "baby fix".  My mom to this day loves the sound of a crying newborn...(in moderation).  The cooing, and babbling sounds they make and, yes, even their cries (if you're not the one up all night with them) can bring such warm and peaceful and joyful feelings to the soul. 

They get a little bigger and then they start to walk and discover things, and figure out how to do new things all the time.  As a parent you watch with joy over each new discovery and how proud they are of themselves.  My children will get a look on their face which says, "did everyone just see what I did?"  as they look around with a big grin checking to see if anyone saw them.  And still, as toddlers and new talkers, complete strangers love to approach them and ask them questions and get them to smile.  It brings so much peace and joy to people to be able to spend a small minute with a little child.

Many times I've posted stories on facebook about the funny things my children do and say.  I post those things because they make me laugh and I can't wait to retell it hoping that it makes someone else laugh.  I love getting feedback from people knowing that it caused them to grin, roll their eyes, and especially to recall a time when their own children did something similar.  I see posts from other people on facebook where they are looking for that glimmer of the child they once had as theirs grow older. 

I worked with teenagers for many years before having my own children.  Each year a graduating class would come through and the parents would say to me, "It was like the blink of an eye...they were babies just yesterday."  It was said to me so many times that I felt like I had what I called "the curse of reality about babies and children" - when my children were born I knew I had to take in every minute as though I would wake up tomorrow and they would be grown up already.  Knowing this I try not to take their childhood for granted. 

Ever had a dream to be a rock star?  I have my own rock band right here at home!  We have play drums and guitars and tamborines and triangles and pots and pans and tupperware and very loud voices which sing into pretend microphones or spoons...we're living that dream.  Ever dream of being a movie star?  We have all the dress-up clothes an actor could dream of and imaginations to go with them!  Ever wish you could go out dancing again like you used to do in high school and college?  We dance here every night almost with the music as loud as we want...and we get to pick the music we like the best!  It can be Laurie Berkner one night, Great Big Sea another night, Miley Cyrus...Mika...80's...90' favorites...whatever we want!  Kids are GREAT dancers and singers!  They don't care how good or bad they are...or how good or bad you's just about having fun!

There are so many innocent things that children say and do that make grown-ups smile and laugh.  I've told of the time I went in for lunch duty at school and had the children lined up to go outside for recess when I looked over and watched one little girl act like she was walking with a cane all bent over and holding her back.  She looked up at me and said, "Look Mrs. May!  I'm 30!!"  The other day I went in for lunch duty again and stayed for indoor recess.  One little girl was writing on the chalk board.  She asked me how to spell the word "be" - she said, "you know 'be' like 'be a good friend'."  I told her how to spell "be" and meanwhile was helping another child with another game.  She then asked me how to spell "friend."  I told her.  When I finally looked up to see her work on the board I read these words, "Be A God Friend."  Obviously she had spelled "good" wrong - I could have corrected her, but it caused me to pause and reflect on the meaning of her sentence.  To a child both are probably one in the same.

So with all of this being said, it seems obvious to me that babies and children are the key to world peace.  It seems to me that if allied countries would work harder at being "God Friends" instead of "Good Friends" that it might be a  step in the right direction.  We adults could take a lesson in having more fun...not worrying so much about how good or bad we are at something.  If stopping for a moment to look at a baby can bring so much peace to a person's heart, why can't stopping for a moment to have a pleasant conversation with another adult...looking someone else in the eye and seeing the child hiding in there?  Let's work at being "God Friends" - remembering that we're all connected no matter how long we've been on earth.

1 comment:

Kerri said...

What an awesome post! SO true... when my little one was a baby he had a thick shock of black hair... It was CRAZY. Everyone would comment on it. You're so right, it's like a little piece of heaven, seeing a baby.

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