When A.A. Milne’s House at Pooh Corner finishes, we find Milne wistfully writing,
And by and by Christopher Robin came to an end of things, and he was silent, and he sat there, looking out over the world, just wishing it wouldn’t stop.
This great line is about childhood and the way it ends for each of us. Without romanticizing it, I think its important each of us give childhood its own due. If you grew up in a rough situation, trying look right around the corner from there and seeing you as a child doing the things children do. If envisioning childhood automatically calms you, then you know what I’m talking about.
Childhood is an evolutionary moment in everyone’s life when we all are given the imagination, energy, and resilience necessary to become exactly who we are right now. This time of our life is powered solely by Heartspace, with its ability to reveal us to ourselves, in preparation for us to reveal ourselves to the world. As small children we are all entranced by learning, driven by a restless desire to absorb, maintain, expand, create, and build knowledge. We are all absorbing while we are young, devouring experience in the world.
All during our childhoods, from the moment we are born, we are whole people, wholly knowing and living, wholly being and learning. We construct without intention though, rolling steadily through adversity and building our resilience. For those who grew through pain, life can emerge as opportunity for wisdom. Those who grew through love may have lives that radiate brilliance through depth.
But somewhere in there are quiet times filled with nothing but the dialog of our learned conversations. There are games with friends, times with fairies, metered moments of fun, and syncopated rhythms of revelation. Constantly expanding our thinking, we may play with flowers growing up in the sidewalk cracks, balance school-sports-family-self, or learn to be independent very early. But anyway it goes, we learn.
Our desire to establish sustained engagements is really high when we’re young. Some children trust everyone initially, slowing learning to retreat as they learn not everyone is worthy their trust. Others seek to glob on closely to their parents, or their siblings. As we become toddlers, then students, we may decide to place more trust in our peers, or in our parents, or within ourselves. Our engagement continues to grow, and along the way it expands- engagement always expands.
That is the tremendous part about childhood, and something all of us can take with us throughout our lives. Childhood can always expand! There is value in the cliche of staying forever young, and that is the simple formula I have uncovered here: In childhood we want nothing more than to develop sustainable connections to the worlds within and around ourselves; by consciously building our Heartspace, we reclaim that charge, and in doing so we reclaim our childhoods. In this way we can stay young, hopeful, and optimistic. Renowned historian Noam Chomsky once wrote, “Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you can believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”
Be childlike, and let Heartspace drive you today. You can make the future better, and by consciously connecting to your Heartspace, you are. Thank you for that, and for discovering how your own childhood helped lead you here today.