Archive | December, 2012

I’m Just a Kid

14 Dec

I sat on the bench at the front gate of my school for afternoon duty.  Almost every Friday, Yok, my fifth grade student, would arrive at 3:30 to hang out and keep me company.  I would sit on the bench and she would hop and skip around me, exuding her boundless reserves of positive energy.  Today was like any other Friday.  3:30 rolled around.  Like clockwork she came waltzing in. I felt a warm surge of joy to see her.  She sat beside me to begin our conversation about life.  Today we shared stories about all the times we broke or dislocated our bones, or when we did other stupid things to hurt ourselves in the past.   Then after 10 minutes I changed the subject during the first long pause of silence.  “Yok,” I said. “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“That kind of talk is for grown ups,” she replied.  “I’m just a kid.”  She watched me in silence, studying my facial expression to her astute remark.  I waited for her to say something else.  I was hooked on the story of her life, and I was excited to find out what she would say next.  “And besides,” she said.  “The future is unbalanced.”  Her eyes trailed off into the distance along with the echo of her words that lingered in my mind.

“Unbalanced? What do you mean?” I asked.

“I mean the future is an unbalance.  By the time I’m your age I will have changed my mind 100 times. So what’s the point of thinking about it now?”

“You’re so right,” I said in excitement.  “Thank you for being such a good teacher.”  She humbly nodded and extended her hand to gesture a high five.

The future is unbalanced.  What a wise and beautiful thing to say.  Yok understands the sheer futility of living in the future.  I agree with her completely.  It’s so much easier to cut our delusions if we try to absorb ourselves in the holiness of the present moment.  After all, it is the only moment that exists in our whole lifetime.

And her comment, “I’m just a kid.”  She reminds me that I too, am just a kid, and will be forever.  Being just a kid has nothing to do with one’s physical attributes alone.  Being a kid is a way of thinking.  And like all kids, Yok’s thinking is an important teaching for us to live happier lives.  That’s what kids do!  And they do it with purity, sincerity, and compassion.  Thank you, Yok, for reminding me to make the effort to live with joy in the present moment; thank you Yok, for reminding me to always be a kid.

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