Branham: (4 years old. Reaching his arms up as high as he can, hops, determinedly, on his tip toes. Then, frustrated...) UHHH!!!
Friend: What's wrong?
Branham: I can't FLY mommy!
Ok. So this is so cute it makes you want to slap a kitten for even trying. But slap/sap factor aside...
I love this.
I love what it says.
Kids have always held a certain fascination for me.
The way their little minds work. Their tiny limbs. (FREAKS!) But most importantly--Their views on the workings of this crazy little blue and green planet.
Seems to me that Neil Armstrong (bless him. rest him.) is the only adult who could claim to have viewed our earth from an equally unique perspective.
And that, dear friends, is a beautiful thing.
Somewhere along the line, we, as people, embrace our inabilities. We learn what is possible and what is not. We learn our limitations.
Children's limitations? Only the scope of their respective imaginations.
Not only did Branham believe he could fly, he did so to such an extent that he was frustrated to learn he could not.
That kind of faith in one's abilities - I ask you - where would mankind be if we continued to embrace those childlike dreams?
Though this concept sends my mind exploring in (insert hyperbolic number here) directions, my two most logical streams of thought lead me here:
1. "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
When George Bernard Shaw said the previous, he was essentially saying that we all should carry on like children. And I agree. I mean, think about it...aren't you happiest when your daydreams take you places the logical world tells you you cannot, will not or are not allowed to go? Which leads me to my second thought.
You may run for the hills now...
2. In Luke and Matthew, Jesus says (depending on the translation) "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
I'm no Biblical scholar, but I'm pretty sure he didn't mean that some posthumus place in the clouds is overrun by toddlers. Pretty sure he meant that heaven - that place of perfect mental and spiritual peace - is found in the innocence and wonder and possibility that only children's minds are continuously able to embrace.
But Erin!?!?! You're a Jew!!! So was Jesus. So sue me. The guy was on to something.
If there's one thing I love as much as waxing philosophic, it's irony. And I am struck by the irony that, as adults, we are consistently asking children what they want to grow up to be.
As for me? I am a grown up. And it remains my sincere hope that I can grow up to be what I once was - a kid with stars in her eyes and big dreams in her heart. And, most importantly, an unwavering faith that those dreams are not only still possible, but within my reach.
"Some people say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."