On iAmSapien you are invited to say what activated you. What caused you to be a person committed to improving yourself and the world? Here is my story.
At four years old I found myself staring into the sky and asking, “Am I really that big?” I wondered if I could see God. Maybe, but it was a big thought for a four-year old kid. What is a kid, with a vision of God and a big vision of self to decide about life?
My memory begins on the living room carpet. It is a Saturday morning. The sun is streaming in through the window. The TV is on. I loved the Saturday morning cartoons. I lay on my belly staring up at the black and white television screen. Across the screen danced a line of bizarre characters, I think it was animals, all singing and dancing to some upbeat symphony music. I was trying to make sense of what was happening, what all the frenzied activity would bring about in the theme of the cartoon. It was all hype, however, and had no substance.
I felt annoyed at my cartoons. Why did they make no sense, and why was I laying there watching such nonsense? So I turned off the TV, went out the front door and down the porch steps, to the road and turned right heading down the sidewalk. My mind was empty. It was a sunny, fresh spring day. I felt tall. I felt free. In that moment, some sort of four-year old neural development must have kicked in, for I felt an expansion in my sense of self. It seemed the sky had opened. I felt larger, more present. The day was brighter and I could reach up and touch the sky. It seemed I was connected somehow, with what was there, and with what was me. “Is that God?” I wondered. “How could I be seeing God?”
The answer that came was my own. I thought, “I am just a little kid, my parents’ (stupid) little boy who did not amount to much. I will be just that, and no more. And, here I am, walking down the street, not even knowing where I am going. I must look like a crazy kit.” I put my head down and pretended as if to be walking somewhere.
Maybe some two years later, while walking across the blacktop of the school playground, I asked myself why I always walked with my head down. It seemed odd, so I lifted my head up and looked on life anew.
What happened at four years old maybe is not as important as my wishful thinking makes it. Maybe I could have chosen the sky way back then, and changed everything. But what did happen is a pattern that seemed to repeat in my life. 1) Allow the space for a new thought to occur. 2) Realize that I have been setting my sights low, and that there is a bigger picture. 3) Raise my head and walk with greater awareness in a new direction. Such became the theme of my life. Always an adventure lies ahead. The lesson for me is that intelligence is not a thing of genetics, rather, it is the courage to face what one is currently, and then face in a new direction with a new perspective on life.
If there is one more lesson, is that it doesn’t matter. Even if life is like that cartoon I watched as a kid, all hype and no substance, it is still us here deciding what life is and how big we are going to be to meet that life. Being what humans are, this is really the only choice we have.
Oh, and one more thing, if you ever think you may be seeing God, and feel you are tall enough to say, “Hi”, then by all means, be a tall person.