Sometimes our greatest obstacle is us.
Whether we’re parents or storytellers, while we’re about the business of teaching kids, let’s remember to pay attention to how we, ourselves, dance the dance of life. We can’t teach what we don’t know.
The fun part of writing and drawing for children is the pure freedom of it ... we can make the funny stories just a tad sillier, the fiction books just a tad more imaginative, the fairy tales and science fiction just a tad more way out ... just a tad more of anything we want to make our work more fun to create and more fun to experience.
It’s not so hard to do ... just use your imagination to see the world through the fresh eyes of a child.
Unfortunately, as we become grown-ups, we tend to lose that ability. We’ve got serious, grown-up things to attend to. We put away all the childish activities and turn our attention to the responsibilities and duties of adulthood. That’s important, because to hang onto too much childishness will result in an unproductive life left in shambles.
On the other hand, if you keep your nose to the grindstone, and if you’re constantly pushing yourself to attend to your duties, you’ll end up with a lot of duties fulfilled, but a life that’s empty and hollow.
Childishness and childlikeness aren’t the same thing. While being responsible in life is very important, a fulfilling and successful life requires a delicate balance of both. This is really what the “dance” is all about ... balancing out life’s duties and responsibilities while maintaining that fresh, playful wonder that keeps us connected and makes life worth living.
Of course reality is always there, rearing its ugly head. There’s not much room for light-heartedness when bombs are dropping from the sky and death and destruction are all around. Or when children are dying of cancer. Or when people are starving and don’t have what they need to just live daily.
Life is deadly serious.
We can lighten the heaviness a bit by using our humor, hope and faith to encourage and lift one another.
But we can't play all the time either ... there's work to be done! So we'll roll up our sleeves and use sheer determination to get the work done to reach out and meet the needs of our brothers and sisters.
We don’t understand the paradox that is daily life on planet earth. We probably never will on this side of eternity. But we are fearfully and wonderfully made ... we’ll play hard and work hard, and teach others to do the same ... especially the children, who are just beginning the journey and need to know how to dance.