Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Through a child's eyes

Recently, my son and I were having some sort of discussion centered on what we would do if we could do anything. Our ideas were far-flung. Learn to fly like a bird. Swim like a dolpin. Sail the world. Eat a billion gallons of ice cream.

Then, of course, I got silly and decided to dream smaller. More tiny. Focus on something I could nearly pinch between my fingers. Rather than wish for something as grandiose as sailing the world, I'd just get one freckle removed. Specifically, I'd get rid of the small blotch above my right eye. An age spot I seem to have acquired after finding too many ways to have fun outside.

My son looked at me like I was crazy. "Why would you want to do that?"

I asked why he was concerned--if he was worried I might actually get rid of it. If he'd miss that freckle when it was gone.

"Well, it's in the shape of a heart," he replied. "I like it."

In all the times I've spent looking in the mirror, getting ready for work, or wondering how I might lighten that blotch, I never realized there might be something good about it. Something to like. In that moment, as simple and trivial as it may seem, I actually felt better about myself. Some say I wear my heart on my sleeve. I never thought I might being toting a tiny bit of it above my right eyebrow.

Later, I began thinking about the pure and beautiful outlook kids have for the world.... What if more people made the effort to see things in a better light? Find the good in bad situations? Find the good in others and then share that opinion?

What if we didn't assume people whom we care about knew all the good things and reasons we have for liking them? What if we voiced those thoughts? Wouldn't that goodness go forth like a ripple?

I like to think it would.

Maybe life really does come down to the little things. Maybe changing the world for the better or helping people heal inside and out doesn't really take so much effort. Maybe it just starts with something as simple as telling someone you like that divet in their forehead, the curve of their smile, or that constellation of agespots streaming their way over their eyes.

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