I was down at the mall today. It was busy. People of all different kinds and ages milling around. When suddenly my attention was caught by this little toddler. He cant have been much older than 1 year old but old enough to be walking on his own, the way little fellas do with stiff legs and all.
I heard him before I saw him, he was calling out (in baby babble), but boy he was having fun.
This little guy was just out there walking on his own, exploring, testing his voice, touching, looking around at everything and just quietly watching him were his mum and dad. Nice and calmly just watching him, not getting in this way.
I was absolutely transfixed by this little guy. I just stood there and smiled and when he went out of sight I just thought to myself, “you don’t see that so often these days.” I looked around. It was true. All of the other toddlers were restrained in buggies or being carried. That is what had caught my attention about this little boy.
This kid, barely walking was just ‘going for it’ with everything he had with no-one trying to hold him back. Every skill that he had spent the last year and a bit of his life (his entire life) developing was being put to the test and he was reveling in it.
Imagine that. Imagine how that must feel. Giving everything to life. Throwing everything at it. Everything you know, every physical and mental skill that you have, all thrown into one amazing experience.
Wow! That must be what true freedom feels like.
He was talking the best he could, walking the best he could. Touching, feeling, learning with every ounce of enthusiasm that he could muster. Laughing, shouting, showing everyone how excited he was. Everything was so exciting to him.
He didn’t worry what other people may think of him. He didn’t even try to hide his feelings. If he had fallen over and hurt himself, we would have let everyone know how he felt. He would clock the lesson and get up and do it again. For him, there is no shame in falling, no shame in feeling, no shame.
He, not for one moment, doubted his own physical abilities. In fact he kept pushing them to the limit. The more excited he got the faster he went.
I have been struggling with questions about my courage: why can’t I be courageous and do things that I want to do, and where does courage come from. After seeing that toddler today I ask myself, not where does courage come from but rather, where does courage go?