The walking stick that put a smile on his face

The other day I was stepping outside of my work place and in front of me was this gorgeous little boy, with the most beautiful smile. He must have been 5 or 6 years of age. Maybe! I don’t know for sure. There was an older lady, who I assumed was his grandma, walking beside him. Once again, I don’t know. But, let’s assume she was his grandma.

The little boy looked like he was in heaven. He was carrying a piece of a tree branch, a little wooden stick. He occasionally limped, but when he slowed down too much, ran back to the grandma and started limping again.

It was clear to me that he pretended to be old, and he was happy about it. The wooden stick was a toy for him. His smile never ended throughout the time I saw him.

My initial thought reaction was;

Isn’t he gorgeous. Little does he know what it really feels like.

Immediately I started to consider how we start feeling differently about a walking stick over the years.

One of my friends I mentioned this to, reminded me that it was;


The fact that He had Choice!

I would be lying if I say, I will feel like the little child if I have to start using a walking stick tomorrow due to physical inability. But, this scene gave me something to consider.

I’m sure we have seen little boys and girls using walking sticks or crutches for a while during a time that they had a fractured bone and on the path to recovery.

Similarly, we have seen adults do the same.

But their perspective of the situation is vastly different. And maybe quite rightly so.

The little child

  • Usually have some adults to look after their other needs
  • Have less social or financial responsibility.
  • Limits what they can do in terms of playing, but they quickly adjust.
  • It becomes a novelty for all their friends, and usually it’s “cool” to show off.
  • None of their friends throw lines like “I’m so sorry”, “It must be difficult”, “You poor thing”, or “Toughen up there are people in worse situations”

So, it appears that although the situation is acknowledged and considered, it is merely a situation and not a definition of who they are or who they’ve become!

The Adult

  • Generally, they have to look after themselves, and most likely others as well.
  • Financial or social responsibilities doesn’t go away or pause for the time.
  • It becomes a burden on one’s self, and definitely not a feature to be showing off. The limitations encountered are difficult to work around, and one easily would feel they’ve become a burden to others.
  • Gets attention, but the attention generally repeatedly reminds about the situation, inabilties, and the problems caused by it.

So, it appears that the situation is acknowledged, considered, and more often than not a crisis, and a definition of who they are or who they’ve become!

I don’t know of a solution for this, or even if there is a problem. I can see a difference, but then again adult life is a lot more complex. So, it continues to question me:

At what point does the Toy become a Burden?

If we change the way we look at it, will it be a similar experience as a child?

Can we adjust the way we respond as family, friends, colleagues, strangers?

Or am I making this bigger than Ben Hur (Making a mountain out of a molehill)?

Questions remain unanswered for now!

But one thing is certain,

There is something so beautiful about child-like innocence!

– Nim –

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