We are grownups. We know how complicated the world is.
As grownups, we have learned how challenging, how resistant and how difficult getting what we want can be.
What we often forget, though, what we lose in all that experience is just how simple the world can be.
One joy of having kids around is that we get a chance to see the world again through their eyes. They see a world of wonder, full of awe and possibility.
Kids who haven’t been carefully taught how to fear failure are always ready to take a flyer and try anew. They haven’t learned that they have to follow the rules, have to ask for permission, have to just follow along.
Through the exuberance of kids we can relearn simple if we just open to it.
To do that, though, we can’t try to impose our complicated worldview onto them, can’t make them do everything our way, the safe way, the wise way. We have to let them make their own mistakes, get their own learning, find their own delightful and breathtaking successes.
I am wicked good at complicated. I do symbol, nuance, connection, history and all that in a flash, pulling together amazing wisdom that blends the cultural, the social and the personal. I own complicated.
I am, however, lousy at simple. Just a smile and a big hello, a willingness to go with the flow, the instinct and energy to just take a flyer, try something new, and dust myself off if I fall, well, those are bits I have never, ever been good at. Growing up in a series of minefields will do that to you, forcing you inside your head even on a beautiful sunny day.
Everything is simpler than you think
and at the same time more complex than you imagine.
Simple, at least in this usage, isn’t the opposite of complicated, rather it is the gateway to new, able to cut though false complications using beauty and delight to fuel curiosity and exploration. Maybe, just maybe, you have it wrong and you simply need to try again in a new and fresh way to see more openly and more clearly.
Learning not to spray your own complicated on those who are trying new isn’t simple. Those lessons cost you a lot in blood and treasure and you don’t want to see them wasted, especially if someone you love might get banged up in the process.
Taking a pratfall isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a person. The worst thing just may be that they imprison themselves in their own learned fear.
We need to encourage people who are simply starting over again and again.
We need to keep room inside of us for the divine surprises that simple can bring us.
At least I know that I do.