Friday, March 9, 2012

Anything Can Happen

Picture Of A Happy Baby Posing With His Hand On His face In A Sock Photo

Listen to the Mustn'ts,child,
Listen to the Don'ts
Listen to the Shouldn'ts
The Impossibles, the Won'ts
Listen to the Never Haves,
Then listen close to me --
Anything can happen, child,
Anything can be.
Shel Silverstein

I work with young people.  It is my job and I enjoy it immensely!  Their enthusiasm and energy are infectious and the new life they bring to my work is invigorating.  This is not a new experience for me; I have worked with children and youth for many, many years.  I wouldn't trade it for the world...most days.

But I am noticing a trend that worries me a little.  I don't know whether it's the economic times or the rural area I'm living in, perhaps it's that they have heard so many times "No," or some other phenomenon that I'm unaware of but I'm hearing these young people limit themselves to being and doing less than they are so very capable of. 

Aren't  our youngest years the time that we should be dreaming and I mean dreaming BIG?  The second decade of our lives is the time to reach for the moon, isn't it?  My best friend at that age died recently.  Our dream was that we were going to Las Vegas to see Elvis perform live and then we would get important jobs, after college-of course, and live close by each other forever.  We'd have money to travel whenever we wanted and life would be so good for both of us. 

I hear these young folks concerned, in elementary school and middle school, about scholarships for college and not being good enough.  I hear them taking others' dreams and belittling them for having such extravagant hopes and wishes.  I hear the sad, sad sounds normally coming from older people with no hope for their future. 

What is happening to our kids?  Now is the best time for them to build their hopes and dreams, to become whatever they can imagine.  I love this poem by Shel Silverstein because it's what I believe.  Yes, I'm older--I mean, really, Elvis--but it's those dreams that keep me going every day.  It's the hope that each day brings that makes it worth getting out of bed every morning and facing the day.  I still dream, I still hope, I still plan.

And you know what?  I may not accomplish all of my hopes and desires, but I've also done a lot of things reaching for those hopes and dreams that I never even thought of.  What a great life! Anything can happen, child.  Anything can be.

And the worst that can happen when you reach for the moon is that you'll land in the stars.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

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