Years ago I received a letter from a client whose 5 ½ year old son had a big revelation while his mother was driving him to school one morning. “Mama, I know what the soul is!” “You do?” she responded. “Tell me about it.” He was thoughtful for a moment and then from the back seat – these words of wisdom came - “The soul is like gold in my heart. It’s like fluttery gold. It flutters in my heart and then moves up into my teeth and makes me smile.”
This reminded me of another incredible piece of wisdom from another child years ago. My friend’s son was 8 at the time, and he asked his mother if she knew what the square root of God was. She was taken aback. “No, I don’t. Do you know?” “Yes”, he said. “The square root of God is Love.”
It’s this quality of uncontaminated insight that children exhibit – especially before they are corrupted by the do’s and don’ts of society, media, and peer pressure. That beautiful spark of innocence is so refreshing in the little ones, and it compliments the insight of the elders. If we would allow for the wisdom at both ends of the spectrum we would be a far richer and more substantial people. The little ones and the old ones are the forgotten cast offs. One group is too young to know yet and the other is too old to matter. Yet, it is both these groups that have a vast and rich tapestry to share with the rest of society. One because it is still fresh and unmarred; the other because it has been tested and wizened through the journey of years.
It’s time to create a format for the two to be counted. Let’s encourage the little ones to share and let’s listen to the elders—or if we are an elder—to speak up. Observations of those in the 13-40 year old range may be trendy—and they are certainly plentiful, but they do not reflect in total the enormous pool of possibilities that are represented by the rest of us!