The love and joy of childhood…

When I was a small child, I loved watching people. I still do. When I was a small child I smiled at people. I often still do. When I was a child, they smiled back. When I smile at people now, sometimes they smile, but sometimes they turn away. When I was a small child, I loved people readily and fully. I still do. When I was a small child, people thought that my love was sweet. Now they use words like “intense” and “excessive”.

Why should that be? Why is the same innocent loving attention given by a child somehow different than that same attention given by an adult. I have realized that my affections and means of expressing them are not all that different than what they were when I was a child. So is it really that there is something wrong with me at 60+ in not knowing how to “behave”, or is it perhaps instead that there is something wrong with a society in having the expectation that I somehow should not love as freely as when I was a child, should not display the same joy and enthusiasm? Is it a good thing that society seems to believe that somewhere along the way those things should have been tempered?

The innocence of a child, the openly loving heart, the enthusiasm, gratitude, unabashed joy… it seems to me that all these things are to be treasured. I would think it should be the goal of all of us to carry those with us throughout our lifetimes. It seems even more to me that if we did, the world would be a far better place.

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