Youth or Freedom

I passed a parking lot today where a mom was buckling a baby into the back seat of her car while her four-year-old ran on the sidewalk and around the vehicle. The mother was telling the four-year-old to come back, that they had to go. The four-year-old just smiled and giggled and jumped up and down. This scene reminded me of a saying.

I believe the saying is something about youth being wasted on the young. There are days when I get out of bed with an aching back, and a dizzy head, and a full day’s worth of work I want to accomplish. And sometimes in those days I actually think of that saying.

After I have the moment of ‘woe is me,’ I have a tendency to come to my senses. I remember a report that I heard once that said one of the first words that a baby learns and uses is the word no. The reason is because babies and small children here ‘no’ more than any other word. They are so energetic and ready to go explore the world and yet have to be protected from so many things. No is said often and usually with good reason.

When we are more mature, we hear the word no less and less. That is because we have explored and understand many of the risks. It is also because, in the pecking order of our society, it is harder for a younger person to say ‘no’ to an older person and get away with it.

To make up for not receiving as many no’s, the more mature person ends up with more aches and pains. Between ‘no’ when we’re young and ‘ouch’ when we are more mature, it looks like nature balances itself. Although I truly believe that everything works out for the best.

As for me, I hear ‘no’ more from my wife than anyone else. She is cute and means well. But even her ‘no’ does not really stop me from my goals and adventures (please don’t tell her I said that.)

Thank you for being here today. I hope to be with you again soon.