“Smalls”

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Please Note: This will be my last post until after the Labor Day Holiday. I’m freeing up time to work on a new series. Hopefully, it will be worth the wait. 

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Basketball fans are familiar with commentators’ use of the term “Bigs,” referring to a team’s star seven-footers. 

Dr. Julie Krull, author of “Fractured Grace,” turns that upside down, using “Smalls” in reference to young children who experience the world with wonder rather than fear and prejudice. 

When did we cease being “Small?” 

“Bigs” (adults) know everything. As such, we are rarely interested in alternative viewpoints.  

“Smalls” have a vast appetite for exploration and discovery. 

Most people think they’re open-minded. But, how many people do you know who can discuss alternative views on religion or politics without shutting down or becoming angry? 

Not long ago, MJ and I and our son Daniel (who uses a wheelchair) visited our daughter’s 1st-grade elementary school classroom. Julia introduced us, and I played a few songs on the guitar. Afterward, she asked the children if they had any questions for us. Twenty-four hands immediately shot up into the air!

That caught me off-guard. I’ve spoken with adults for an hour who never asked a single question. 

I suspected the 1st graders would be curious about Daniel’s wheelchair. 

I was wrong.

The 1st question was addressed to me. A little boy asked if I could swim. 

Where did that come from?

I told him that yes, I could swim, and then another child asked me if it was scary!

The Q&A went on like that for about ten minutes. There wasn’t a single question about Dan’s wheelchair or why he was in it, or for that matter, about my guitar. 

I learned a lot from the children that day. Three things stood out:

1. Children’s curiosity exceeds their fear of looking stupid by asking questions.

2. Children don’t carry our biases. Right after asking me if I could swim, they asked Daniel if he could swim. 

3. Children are fundamentally kind. As we were leaving, one of the kids whispered to Dan that she would pray for him. 

Throughout my life, I aspired to be “Big!” I couldn’t wait to get my driver’s license, turn 21, get a real job, and one day, become the boss. 

Now I aspire to be “Small,” to show sincere interest in others, to refrain from pre-judging, and to be outwardly kind. 

The “old-saying” is spot on! 

It takes an entire life to learn how to live!

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Previous posts may be found here and here.

6 Replies to ““Smalls””

  1. Wonderful things come in SMALL packages !!!!

    Always great to be a grandfather and talk and listen to the young grandchildren—- The World is always so much bigger, unknown, exciting and so many things are STILL POSSBLE !!!

    Like

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