Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Much Bigger?

"Four months later, Riley wasn't much bigger than he had been when he first made his appearance in the world" (Kiefer 4). 

How much bigger are any of us, really, than when we first made an appearance in the world?  If size is measured by bone inches shifted, sure, we're all enormous comparatively.  But if size is measured in terms of heart knowledge and heart expression: joy, peace, curiosity, desire to learn, desire to express, creativity, courage, honesty, none of us have really grown and some of us have shrunk.

I don't feel any more bold than when I was a kid.  I don't feel any more sincere, or inspired, or motivated, or talented.  I have learned how to adapt to a foreign and hostile environment.  But that's not growth.  Those are war tactics.  My actual growth is measured in terms of how I am able to deflect the worldly things that come at me to protect the childhood things I came into this world owning.  So, really, this is maintenance.

How much bigger are any of us?  We learn how to weave around jammed traffic.  We learn how to swear at bad drivers from our windows.  We learn how to convince a crowd that we're telling the truth (while lying, maybe).  We learn how to smile for the camera and then return to frowning at our manager.  We learn how to shirk familial responsibilities while upholding career responsibilities.  We learn how to unlearn the nonsense we've been taught since we arrived.

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