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February 17, 2019

Life Through the Eyes of a Child . . .

I have often heard of the phrase ‘seeing life though the eyes of a child’ and always thought of it as rather corny.

But now watching Thayu and his delight in little things has added a whole new meaning to the phrase.

He will stare at dust particles as they dance in the light and laugh in delight or stare at the grass for ages when I take him out for his daily dose of vitamin D. At the beginning I was worried that he was getting bored and tried to stimulate him with little games that he had no interest in, but with time I too have begun to appreciate the beauty in the little things around me.

For instance, I have noticed that the grass is not just one shade of boring green, rather it is made up of so many shades some differing very little from the others and yet distinctive and unique.

The reality is that as adults we are often in a hurry to do the mundane and sometimes in the humdrum of working and shuffling we lose sight of little wonders all around us.

I have lived in the same compound for over a year now and only till recently did I truly recognize the beauty of my surrounding. Next to me is a jacaranda tree that blooms only once or twice a year, but when it does, its lilac flowers are beautiful to behold.

Before I went on leave I was more concerned about the amount of dead blooms it shed during its flowering season and how much work that translated to.

Living in an institution, gardening is part of the package deal and I don’t have to do my own yard, yet it still bugged me that with the trees in bloom there was so much more leaves and petals on the grass.

Now I no longer see the petals as work instead I have come to appreciate their velvety feel and the way they dance in the wind. Little things that I am learning from watching my son.

Seeing through my sons’ eyes is helping me not only appreciate the unique beauty in the creation around me, but also in the people around me. Yesterday, Toriah come home from school in tears.

“Mom”, he said as he got into the house, “please can we adopt the girl who sits outside the gate in rags begging.” “Which girl?” I wanted to know. I had never noticed such a person outside our gate.

“The one who has been sitting out there begging since we moved here” retorted my husband who had come in with Toriah after picking him from school. The truth is I had never noticed such a person even though I used the same route almost daily. I was too focused on my own stuff.

Toriah was in tears not fully comprehending the near impossibility of adopting an adult more so one that is mentally impaired.

All he knew was that she sat there hungry and tattered while we had more than we needed in terms of food and clothing. I realized that we may not solve all her problems then but we could at the very least give her a meal.

Once more a child had led me. I guess that the overwhelming need of society can sometimes make us callous to the need of that one individual around us.

However children remind us that we can make all do something, albeit very small, that will make a difference. In their joie de la vivre, they are able to recognize the beauty around us and the distinct value in each person; a joy that, if we are not careful, can be slowly eroded by our own callousness.

As a family we may not be able to adopt the girl outside our gate or ease all her problems but we can extend kindness and an occasional meal, we can offer clothing and prayers and while that may not ease all her problems, it will no doubt make some difference and hopefully make her world a little better.

Imagine the impact if each one of us decided to do the same thing to someone around us.

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