Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)
By Katie Sherrill
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You asked me the other day what I was like when I was little. Youíd think that was an easy question to answer. On the surface I guess it is, but Iíve been thinking about that question a lot these last few days.
Itís all a matter of perspective really. You can ask ten different witnesses at the scene of an accident what happened and youíd get ten different stories. They may all be telling the truth, but still didnít see the same thing.
Some might have been distracted by what they were doing and so they only saw bits and pieces. Maybe others could only see part of the accident because their view was obstructed. While others could have been immediately effected emotionally by what they saw, so that they werenít able to see the entire accident with and unbiased point of view.
They will all honestly explain how the accident occurred or who was at fault, but it will be slanted by their perspectives. They wonít be able to help it. Itís all in their point of view and the truth as they understand; it is really more of an interpretation of the facts.
The same is true when you asked me what I was like when I was little. If you were to ask me when I was ten years old, I probably wouldnít have of stopped running around the neighborhood, or the soccer field long enough to really think about the question and so Iíd answer how great life was, maybe boring at times because my friends werenít home or it wasnít game day, but I did what I liked and thatís what mattered.
If you asked me at sixteen, Iím sure that my teenage angst would obstruct my vision just enough that I would not clearly see all the details from my childhood. Iíd think that I had it so easy when I was younger and Iíd forget about the fear that was growing inside. I wouldnít be able to stop obsessing about the present ďbreakupĒ I was experiencing to realize that the sadness and loss I was feeling were directly linked to the insecurities that started when I was so young and that they were now growing and gaining speed.
As a young college student I would long for the days of my childhood. I would remember the innocence and protection my younger years provided. I would also wish for some do-overs. Iíd want to go back and visit my younger self so that I could encourage her and teach her that she was, ďfearfully and wonderfully madeĒ. Iíd probably get emotional as I remembered how I felt insignificant even then. I would realize how I hid my insecurities in athletics. I would tell you that my childhood was scary and I rarely felt that I measured up.
I want to protect you from all the fears I had. I know I canít do that though. To protect you from all the hurts of the world would not be fair to you. You have to experience bad in order to understand good. I want to teach you to expect the bad and to learn from it, but never to fear it. It will teach you to persevere. Thatís a perspective I didnít have.
Itís all a matter of perspective. My perspective now is all about you. I donít care what I did or didnít do or how my insecurities made me who I am today. Iíll take it all and use it to mold your childhood into the best one I can give you. Now I see the world through your eyes and thatís a perspective that I like.
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