Truths I Have Learned

Not long ago saw a fascinating list with the following title: “Great Truths That Second Graders Have Learned.” Let me share part of it with you.

1. Cat’s don’t’ like baths.

2. When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair.

3. Never ask your 3-year-old brother to hold a tomato or a raw egg.

4. Don’t sneeze when somebody is cutting your hair.

5. You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.

Don’t you just love the clarity of the above? It strips all of life down to a place of such purity and simplicity that you have to smile and nod in agreement. Even after teaching school for over 30 years I never tired of hearing the voices of those little ones echoing down the hall. I taught high school but I frequently walked into the elementary wing just to hear what was going on. I never knew what words of wisdom would flow out of those little hearts and that is what kept things exciting. Every day was a new adventure in the undiscovered territory of a child’s mind.

As some people age they seem to forget what every child instinctively can do. The responsibilities of life, and the brutality of others have a way of robbing us of our ability to enjoy the moment. We become so focused on doing the next thing that HAS to get done for the future, that we forget how to be caught up in the wonder of what IS being done in the here and now. This amazing ability to live in the moment is what every child possesses. That gift allows them to enjoy life in a way that we adults just continually miss on a daily basis.

I have had the great privilege of knowing a few adults who never lost this ability. My 97 year old mother is one such person. Even though her memory is not what it once was, and she forgets a few things, she is still happy, active and enjoying life. She wakes up every day looking for ways to make life better for others. My wife Esther is another such person. Even though she is clear-minded and can see through the thickest smoke screen, she is not a cynic. There is a child-like innocence about her that can melt the hardest of hearts, or be captivated in the moment by seeing the vibrant beauty of a single blue flower.

How about you? What list might you draw up if asked about the great truths you have learned? My guess is that it would be filled with personal conquests, self improvements, your leadership of others and the glory of your new 5 year plan. If so, you will have listed the very things that brought your real revelations in life to an early demise. My hope is that you will begin to rethink things from a child’s perspective and gain back the lost freedom that was once the real you.

Here is my list of things I have learned that really matter in life. Hope you enjoy it.

  1. When fishing, one foot always gets wet. Jump in and get both feet wet the moment you near any stream. This way you can enjoy the rest of the day.
  2. You always forget to pack something you need when traveling.
  3. Keep an extra house key and truck key in your wallet because you’ll need them.
  4. “E” doesn’t really mean empty on any gas gauge.
  5. When a man asks a woman “what’s wrong”, and she says “nothing”, it’s not so!

Now smile and have a great day, and remember what the old farmer said when asked by the city reporter why he was so happy. “Any day I wake up and I’m above ground is a good day!”  🙂

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