Know What You Love, And Be Willing To Run To It
July 1, 2017 | View PDF
It is supposed to be easy and serve as a transition into writing about others in second person, but there are always those who seem to draw a blank. They stare into space like they have been asked to describe a stranger.
This is sad to me. One of the many responsibilities we are charged with as parents – and teachers too to some extent – is to help our children to know who they are as individuals.
This is not the same as teaching them. You can’t teach them who they are the same way you can teach concepts. You might be able to teach them who you are, and in that you can influence what they accept or believe, but as for who they are as God naturally made them, it is something they have to discover and allow to develop.
It is why we introduce them to a myriad of books and activities. It is why we take them on trips and encourage them to play sports and take art classes, music classes, and dance.
It is why we let them have hamsters, take them to reptile farms, and start stamp collections we know they will never continue. We do it so they can learn what they like and equally important, what they don’t.
Knowing what they like helps them know what to choose, it helps them know what they want, what suits them, how they tick, how they learn, what they are attracted to and why it is they are drawn to it.
It is how they identify their strengths and weaknesses, talents, skills, and boundaries. It is how they grow into their purpose, just through knowing who they are and what they like. And writing five paragraphs about it should not draw such a void.
And it is not just children. There are grown people who take six months to pick out a paint color or what dress to wear to the next low country boil because they don’t know what they like. They are too worried about what other people might think or what color their mother would have preferred rather than just walking straight in and saying this it, this is me.
I met a little girl this week who I don’t think is going to have any trouble with the personal essay one day. I say I met her. I never caught her name. She fluttered through our day like a butterfly.
I had taken my youngest daughter to the Tickled Pink Petting Zoo. She was waiting to hold a python. She is 13. She is shy and creative, smart, and intuitive. She has a heart for animals, all of them, and most small children.
She did not pull away when a little redheaded girl sporting a hot pink tutu ran up to her after recognizing her favorite characters on her shirt. She leaned in, pointing to each with one hand and calling them by name, while holding McKenzie’s long hair out of her way with the other.
She ran back to her mother as quickly as she had appeared, but she left me thinking maybe we should all try and be more like her. Know what you love, and when you see it, run to it.
Amanda Walker is a blogger and contributor with The Alabama Gazette, AL.com, The Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Wilcox Progressive Era. Contact her at Walkerworld77@msn.com or at https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.