Tuesday, October 3, 2017

the four-year-old's world

will and self

I feel for the four-year-old:
so much of his world
plays by rules he just can’t quite buy into,
he feels them arbitrary, capricious,
he feels duty-bound to resist them, reject them,

the rules of physics work for him,
for physical actions have consequences that just are:
dropped things drop,
he has to adjust his climb, his moves on a structure,
guided by an understanding 
that gravity cares nothing for what he wants,

the rules of people seem to be fungible,
open to possibility of change,

the self an artist and the parents’ world a canvas
upon which the ego can work its will
to create whatever the self, at the moment,
imagines to be most pleasing,

I applaud assertion of self,
for we must be the self as individual
before that individual can choose to follow love
into the larger, the self in connection,
will, in ignorance, though, can be as King Canute
who ordered the tide to not come in,
and how did that come out?

the four-year-old, in contrary mode,
asserts a self-centeredness that seems to beg to be thwarted,
controlled and disciplined by a dominant parent,

how much harder, and better,
if the parents use all their creativity, patience, and love,
to help guide the self into learning what’s out there,
learning when to lose because the battle isn’t worth it,
and learning how to win when love is the referee.

by Henry H. Walker

September 30, ‘17