They say that children are innocent with pure thoughts and the old become wise in their ability to recognize or apprehend. I’ve wondered about the similarities and differences of these qualities. I remember the time when my daughter was young and how her truthful comments and questions would stop me in my tracks. She was a mature child due to her experience but when I thought I had to guide, I dismissed her wise words. Over time, I learned to catch myself and made time to listen, and it led me to learn from the innocent. I realized how not-knowing keeps the mind open to appreciate what is.
As a disabled person who required the same assistance as my child, I began to accept that I didn’t have to know more than her to be wise, I only had to choose to be open and innocent to enjoy it. Judgements of what should be and control were released and disability was no longer a haphazard I resented. The cause and effect of everything became mystical gifts to observe.
I believe that we are born innocent, a wisdom to see what’s true before we enter training to listen and decipher our knowledge. Training intensifies when we are tending to children, fighting to guide as we struggle with innocence and control. When our children are grown, it’s time to return to our innocence, accept what is and revel in our experiences to become wise.
Like all things in life, innocence and wisdom aren’t to be assigned to particular groups, they are life gifts intertwined in the many threads of life and appreciation of the whole canvas will bring us joy.