"Get off my lawn!!!" Remember that? You know the grumpy old neighbor that would yell at you for running across his lawn? That sad mean old bastard. Now. Now I occasionally have that same inclination. Damn. I'm turning into that mean old man all of us kids used to despise. Damn his eyes! *laughing* I say this knowing full well I'm not him, but I understand him now. The whole "empathy requires understanding" thing.
Kids lack the much more complex theme of respect. They confuse fear with respect. We adults still do. They immediately level the playing field and make everyone equal. The lines of property blur. Awareness of others feelings are drowned out by their own selves yelling out to the world "I'm here! Look at me!" This is being a kid. Self discovery. Triple underline the word "self".
It's not really about others until the teenage years. Then we become hyper aware of how others see us and having the conflicting feeling of wanting to be approved and assimilated by our peers and yet needing to rebel at authority to assert our individuality and our specialness. A balancing act hard to achieve with many stumbles along the way.
It was wondrous Hell being a kid. I couldn't wait to grow up. Getting control of my life. Or so I thought. Finding for myself that control is just an illusion to make us feel safer in this beautiful and sometimes cruel world.
I want my inner kid to live and thrive. I want my inner adult to lighten-up but still rule. Growing up diminishes the selfish tendencies and adds the understanding of others, re-enforcing the true reality of our connectedness with everything. To hurt someone or some thing hurts ourselves too. That we are not alone, nor can we every truly be alone, even though our bodies and physical reality seems to deem it so.
Yep. I want to hold on to the magical discovery and wide-eyed wonder of a child, and the wisdom and understanding of being a part of something much greater than ourselves.