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  • Writer's pictureRichard A. Jones

The Heart of a Child


I wish that I could take credit for this post, but I will just be sharing the insights of others. I won’t comment on these here, but if anyone is interested, I will be expressing some of my own thoughts, on the same subject, in my Reflections of Faith Category.

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I have seen a couple of variations of this first one, but I think it is credited to Genel Hodges.


I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of a six-year-old again.

I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four-star restaurant.

I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks.

I want to think M&Ms are better than money, because you can eat them.

I want to play kickball at recess and paint with watercolors in art. I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple... When all you knew were colors, addition, and simple nursery rhymes, but that didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know… and you didn’t care.

When all you knew was to be happy because you didn’t know all the things that should make you worried and upset.

I want to think that the world is fair. That everyone in it is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible.

Somewhere in my youth….I learned too much. I learned of nuclear weapons, war, prejudice, starvation, and abused children. I learned of lies, unhappy marriages, suffering, illness, pain, and death….

….I learned of a world where children knew how to kill...and did!!

What happened to the time…when we thought the worst thing in the world was if someone took the jump rope from you or picked you last for kickball?

I want to be oblivious to the complexity of life and be overly excited by little things once again…

…I remember being naive and thinking that everyone was happy because I was. I would spend my afternoons climbing trees and riding my bike.

I didn’t worry about time, bills or where I was going to find the money to fix my car…

…I want to live simple again. I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, imagination… and making angels in the snow.

So…here’s my checkbook and my car keys, my credit cards and the bills, my collections, my insurance premiums, my job, my house… and the payments…

…here’s my e-mail address, pager, cell phone, computer, and watch. I am officially resigning from adulthood.

And if you want to discuss this with me further, you’ll have to catch me……’cause, Tag! You’re it!

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This next one is by Virginia Stem Owens, from her 1983 book, And the Trees Clap Their Hands: Faith, Perception, and the New Physics.

For the child, newborn, is a natural spy. Only his inherent limitations impede him from consuming all the clues of the universe…

…Sent here with the mission of finding the meaning buried in matter, of locating the central intelligence, he goes about his business briskly, devouring every detail within his developing grasp. He is devoted to discovery, resists sleep in order to absorb more data…He has to learn the world from scratch, But the task seems nothing but joy.

Yet gradually, over time something goes wrong. The spy slowly begins to forget his mission. He spends so much time and effort learning the language, adopting the habits and customs, and internalizing the thought patterns, that somehow, gradually, imperceptible, he becomes his cover.

He forgets what he’s about. He goes to school and grows up. He gets a job, collects his pay, buys a house, and waters the lawn. He settles down and settles in. He wakes up each morning with the shape of his mission,…grown hazier, like a dream that slides quickly away.


He frowns and makes an effort to remember. But the phone rings…and he is distracted for the rest of the day. Perhaps he forms a resolution to remember; still he seems helpless to keep the shape, the color of his mission clear in his mind. Then one morning, he wakes up and only yawns……….And the spy goes native.”


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