We were sitting with our granddaughter, watching a film about a young girl who had been taken back to her childhood home in order to help her come to terms with her life. She had become a stereotypical teenager who thought the world owed her a living and her single parent father decided that she needed a time out.
The film developed in the expected way, with the young lady coming to terms with her life. It was a basic, predictable plot. But it was still entertaining.
As the film neared the end, my granddaughter turned to me and asked, “Why is she happy?”
Without hesitation I replied, “Because she knows who she is. Everyone needs to know who they are.”
Maybe I was caught up in the story. Or maybe I was thinking about how so many children are robbed of their childhood by dreadful experiences. Either way, I realised how profound a thought that was.
We all need to know who we are. Yet we rush around trying to please so many other people, and trying to match the image that they set for us, or that we set for ourselves. We are so busy that we forget who we are and where we came from.
If only we could take a few moments out, each day, to remember to be true to ourselves. Maybe, then, we wouldn’t have to worry about being something that we are not.
Maybe, then, integrity would mean something.
I can do this.
I can do this.
I . . .
can . . .
put . . .
my . . .
foot . . .
Ooh! That’s cold!
I don’t want to . . .
Too late now.
The hardness of winter
Is soon forgotten
In the blooming of spring
Don’t let the dark days take over your life
My granddaughter came to stay with us for a week or so during August, 2011. She was 2½ years old at the time.
She liked the idea of “helping” me take photos. So we gave her a compact digital camera to take her own photos during her holiday. Among the anticipated photos of the floor, the sky, the people with half a head, or no head, the door posts, etc., there was this one.
The photo was taken on a bad photography day, weather-wise, in the Brecon Beacons Visitor Centre in South Wales. It’s not level; it’s slightly blurred; it even breaks a few rules. But it works. The key elements may not be on the intersection of thirds, but a centred arrangement is better in this instance. The colours are muted because of the weather, but they are there.
She also took another photo of the same plant pot, but from a different angle. Again, not a technically perfect photo, but certainly acceptable; especially when you consider the age of the photographer.
Most importantly, though, the photos remind me to keep things simple. Seen through the eyes of a child, life is as simple as a plant in a flower pot. We could all learn something from this.
Look at your life through the eyes of a child . . .
. . . Your life is not as complicated as you think it is.
Opportunity may only knock once . . .
. . . But that doesn’t mean you cannot leave the door open.
“Sometimes a man is innocent, but the circumstances make it appear otherwise.”
Oliver Lacon in John LeCarré’s Smiley’s People (or was it Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
It’s one of my favourite quotations. I may not have it exactly right. But I think the sentiment is important.
Over the years, I have come across people who were only trying to do their best, but their motives were questioned to the point where they appeared to be in the wrong. They, however, knew that the best way to deal with such allegations is to ignore them . . . and let the results speak on their behalf. Invariably, they were justified without saying a word.
I have also come across people who managed to hide their wrongs behind a façade of bravado, usually accompanied by vociferous false allegations against even those who had their best interests at heart. Invariably, they suffered. Their health deteriorated, physically, mentally, and emotionally. And once again, the results spoke for themselves. And once again, the innocents who tried to save them were justified.
The lesson? Don’t waste your time and energy defending petty allegations. The truth always comes out in the end.