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Walk Like a Child

Submitted by Pierce Nahigyan on July 7, 2010 – 6:43 amComments

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elephantI was blowing my harmonica and calling out the tune—be it problems ontological or rapping at the zoo: a funky diatribe from a villain incoherent, a rocky manifesto for the kind that can bear it. See, I’m sayin’ that I’ve spent my time with head up in the clouds (far more time than most adults would say it was allowed). But if in politicking for a prim and proper job I become an uptight punchclock yuppie ghoulish zombie slob? Man, behind bars is where it’s at, with other mooks like me—rhinos, hippos and alligators, baboons, and monkeys.

I work with kids. And we seem to understand each other. There is a quantum reality laid out before children, and each choice they make is new and exciting and fresh and fun. Schrodinger’s cat is still flipping his coin. Kids are able to entertain themselves endlessly out of nothing at all because everything is out there waiting for them. There are no limits to their options.

But the problem is that the older I get the more visible my options appear. Hopes I had fade to dreams, or idle fantasies. And the ones that I’m no longer young enough to pursue, experienced enough to attain, or disciplined enough to achieve, well, I do believe those options are best forgotten.

Was my error in keeping the mindset of a child too long? Waiting on the doorstep of promises for a friendly enterprise to appear, meanwhile wide-eyed at the day and its wonders. But because I watched and waited instead of pulling out a map and tracking a single thing . . . how many of you out there ever locked yourself outside your own house as a kid? You catch my drift.

We’re coming down to the wire now. My current job is steady but immobile. And while I may not need something corporate it’s going to take a crack at the big time to get me on my feet. Boys and girls, it really might be time to choose something to stick to: philosophy, career, timeline. Recess is over.

Step by step, the best lessons I’ve learned have always come because I’ve been open to the idea that I have yet to be taught everything. My notion of adulthood is one without questions left to ask because the choices were negotiated in advance. No surprises.

Then eye to earth and teeth to dust, I’ll grow up a little (if I must). I’ll negotiate in earnest with adults of my ken (even those whose fossilized philosophy is hardly motorcycle zen). But I got this far, step by step, using my imagination. I can’t abandon it. What my kids have taught me is to be ready for adventure. After all, my main selling point is that I’m anything but mild. So I encourage you, too, when you can:

Walk like a child.

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