“When we are like little children, with the openness the child has up until the age for school, then we retain our ability to be creators, our willingness to be open and to believe.” –Madeleine L’Engle
Hands on her hips. Hair pulled back. Eyes staring straight into the camera. Bold ruby shirt hanging off her shoulders. She dominated the boys on the soccer field. She believed without boundaries. Nothing held her back. When drops of anxiety rolled down her face, she wiped her forehead and dried off her hand on her t-shirt and moved to the goal with determination.
Boldness and courage radiate from this small girl. She lived in a village far down the road outside Liberia, Costa Rica. Thickness, humidity, and dark clouds atmosphere surrounded the village. The nationals we worked with warned us. They mentioned the slithering whispers flowing outside the witch doctor’s home. They told us about the homes vibrating with screams and loud yelling. They shared about the silent homes where the sick man would rest.
Yet in the midst of an eerie silent village, this small girl laughed loud, played hard, and stood with courage. When adults trembled near certain homes, she ran around the neighborhood, calling friends without a care. Someone might credit her boldness to naivety. But I would argue we have so much to learn from children like her.
We teach caution and fear. Children teach trust and courage. Fear does not choke her belief in the impossible and unseen. Children live their first years of life looking up to us, maybe we should kneed down and look up to them. Let us dare to face the goal with the boldness and courage of a child.