If I’d met you when you were three, what would I have been able to predict about your future loves and passions? Because the clues were likely there.
I’m a big believer that we are most ourselves in elementary school and the young years, and that, sadly, we then often go off in directions of people pleasing, familial expectations, and “shoulds” and thus move away from what we were made to do.
My own theology includes the idea that we were each prepared with good works to do, and it sure makes sense to me that the things we’d do in the world, the beauty we’d create, the gifts we’d exercise for the flourishing of our culture… well, it makes sense to me that those would develop organically from the raw material of US.
I’m a big advocate of getting people into situations where they get to reexperience the sense of wonder that is so rampant in childhood. That’s one reason we are having a BE/BRING Your Own Kid event on April 14 in D.C. It’s recess for adults and kids together (if we didn’t’ mix in the kids, the adults might just stand there; we have a lot to learn from children). Learn more about it and sign up here.
I loved a recent Washington Post article about Missy Franklin, a sixteen-year-old swimmer headed to the London Olympics. She has been compared with Michael Phelps. Her parents describe her natural love of the water, which began at three months old:
“Franklin’s parents say she first left their mouths agape when she was doused by a frigid wave in Charleston, S.C., at 3 months old, an event that left her cooing with glee while a similarly drenched baby cousin choked and screamed.”
They also tell stories of her chasing a fish into the open ocean at three. This fearlessness freaked out her parents, but she herself says she feels like a dolphin.
So it’s not surprising that when her love of water combined with a perfect body for swimming (6’1″, size 13 feet, wingspan that exceeds her height), Missy Franklin says that she “should have had gills.”
What should you have had? Do you? Were you made for something that you’ve put aside, ignored, thought better of, decided to grow up instead of pursue?
It’s never too late. The clues were always there, weren’t they?
NOTE: I’m excited to be teaching an upcoming class called “Your Story, Your Sweetspot” through Skillshare, a wonderful organization that democratizes learning. You can sign up here for that April 28, 2012 class, taught at the National Portrait Gallery in D.C. from 2 to 5 p.m. Come, and let’s look at the early clues from your life!