Throughout the centuries, in both the sacred and secular worlds of thought, there has routinely been emphasis placed on the value of keeping a youthful perspective and appreciation of life…no matter one’s age. For example, on several occasions in the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus talks about the vital importance of being childlike…which is not to be confused with being childish. Ultimately, His point was to approach a relationship with God in the same manner that a young child would with his or her parents: to humbly recognize one’s dependence upon God, to trust, to respect, and most importantly, to love God with a pure, childlike love. Meanwhile, a couple thousand years later, writers such as Franz Kafka also stressed the relevance of a more elementary outlook, as he famously stated, “Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”
No matter the initial motivation, spiritual or psychological, or both, approaching the world with childlike awe and wonder is indeed a winning recipe for lasting joy, contentment, as well as productivity! There have been some fascinating studies done recently that demonstrate how much more creative kids are than adults. In some cases, the difference is off the charts! Children can inexhaustibly play with the same, worn-out old toy, utilizing their powerful imagination to constantly create different uses and scenarios. They generally can’t wait to see new things, to meet new people, to dive right in and get their hands dirty learning new skills! They can lay in the grass for hours and watch with unbridled fascination as the shifting clouds above paint an ongoing masterpiece of abstract artwork. Kids can tirelessly investigate the ants crawling around a spilled soda on the sidewalk or a butterfly hovering about in the backyard. They embody Mark Twain’s exhortation to all of humanity, to “Explore, dream, discover!”
Sadly, as we age, much of humanity loses that childlike zest and appreciation for the gift of life. Many become possessed by their possessions, stuck in a rut, overwhelmed by the “rat race,” become less active and engaged, and eventually sink into what Dr. Bill Thomas (a pioneer of geriatric medicine and eldercare) identifies as, “The three plagues of human existence,” which include boredom, loneliness, and helplessness. One does not, however, have to be elderly to experience the destructive, draining forces of these plagues. They can strike at any age.
As cliché and corny as it may sound, there is tremendous value, and revolutionary, revitalizing power that comes from “getting in touch with your inner child.” For myself, and countless other folks across the land, the great outdoors has been a tremendous, never-ending source for generating and sustaining that childlike spirit of adventure and love of life. As a kid, I COULD NOT WAIT to go fishing, hiking, camping, hunting, or anything else that got me out into the natural world. There was so much to see, to do, and to learn! The possibility of what might be around the next river bend or the frenzied anticipation of trying out a new lure filled me with uncontainable excitement! And, it still does!
I get just as excited heading to a trout stream today as an adult than I did as a kid. My hands literally shake with joyful elation as I’m getting on my waders or readying my fly rod. Sometimes I get so worked up that I can’t even think straight or tie a proper knot on my line…which later results in a cussing fit when I lose a big fish! In a similar fashion, a buddy of mine has a hunting dog who gets so excited when it’s time to go afield, that he literally starts hyperventilating and vomiting!!! Well, I’m not quite as bad as that dog, but pretty close!!! I love it!!!
As an adult, there is still soooooo much to learn, to see, and to do! And this is something that I try to share with all of you here at Wild Revelation Outdoors, especially through my blog articles and Youtube channel. I try to offer a wide variety of activities that are rooted in the great outdoors which offer endless room for further exploration. And, I’ve just begun! There is LOTS and LOTS more to come! So stay tuned!
But for now, again, no matter how old (or young) you may be, I’d like to continue to implore you to strive to experience the world through a child’s sense of awe, wonder, and appreciation. Never tire of exploring, dreaming, discovering, and exercising your powers of creativity every chance you get. Just don’t start finger painting with ketchup and such at the dinner table!
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