January 20, 2014

Of Little Importance

  I find it interesting that when we are all still little, everything is so much bigger than us. I don't mean to sound profound (because to something little, of course everything is big!) but I guess what I'm trying to say is that we were able to notice everything. If a fellow playmate had a bandaid on one finger, it was generally common for everyone to ask, "What happened?" Thus, even the smallest injury such as a papercut would not go unnoticed by a child's small eyes. The kid with the bandaid would then relate his horribly gruesome tale of how that mar came to be, and everyone else's eyes would fill with concern.

  To a second grader (at least the kind we had at my school... I don't know about the rest of you) a papercut was like a fatal injury. I can also remember playing in the sandbox on the playground and filtering through the sand and finding all the tiny little shiny pieces which we called "crystals." We would use these to "trade" for sand toys and things with other kids. It was a very complicated economic system. After second grade when "crystals" became less of a hot commodity, the new trading tool was "soft sand" which was made by using the younger children as slaves to grind the sand mill. Just kidding. It was really just filtered fine sand.

  To us older people, from around 11 up, we've lost this sense of importance for little things. A papercut is just a fleshwound, sand is just sand. So what has caused us to lose this mindset? Some would argue it was age. I would say that it has a lot to do with age, but I also believe that pride and education play a role too. We know too much about the world to find any kind of value in sand specks. They're just silica after all. But perhaps we believe ourselves to be too highly educated to find importance in tiny things too...

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