I have written about my relationship with Jack and Owen for a long time. I cannot explain it fully. However, there is something inherently different about them and me. Yes, I love my kids and my adult granddaughter, but Jack and Owen are different. Interestingly, when confronted with things that I cannot completely understand, I will pursue an explanation until I do.
In fact, I took Jack and Owen's father out for a drink to discuss this issue. I actually gave him a copy of the article before I posted it to my website. In the article, I had 8-partial explanations for being enthralled by my relationship with those two youngsters. From the first day that I held Jack right after birth, I have tried to describe what had happened within me. During those years from Jack's birth to the present, I have written many articles delving into various explanations or possible reasons for that relationship. Owen's arrival nearly three years ago merely added to my quandary. I have addressed various reasons. Nevertheless, there is something still missing, which will haunt me until I have resolved my question.
Jack and Owen's excitement about life is one of the aspects that captivates me. Their world is new. The have questions as they explore their lives. As a college professor, I love it when students want to discover something that they do not understand or can explain. However, as children grow up and mature, they often become less excited about life.
Pablo Picasso noticed the same issue. He said, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." When teaching, I will do all I can to motivate students to return to the days that they asked why all the time.
Another teacher, John Keating, addressed the same issue that rattles Picasso and me. This is what Keating said to his class at Welton Academy, "Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, 'Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.' Don't be resigned to that. Break out! Break out now is the time!"
I agree with Keating. We must all do three things. We must find our voice. Everyone will tell us what our voice should be like. However, you choose; it is your voice no one else's voice. Try a voice. Experiment. If you are not satisfied, try another voice. However, do not waste the time of your life by putting off decisions.
Keating quotes Thoreau, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." I learned having danced with death that I am not immortal and neither are you. However, we often act as if we were by not becoming fully engaged in life. We are here for an all too short period of time; do not waste the time that you do have. Act. Move. Be productive. Get engaged.
Keating left his student with a morose warning about a previous generation of students some of whom delayed acting.
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Visit the Dancing with Death page to read more about this topic.