Last week, I took a trip back home to Indianapolis. I visited my best friend, my brother and one of my godchildren.
The godchild I visited is named Aaran Carter, and he just turned four. I have five godchildren and Aaran is the one that I spend the least time with, because he's out of state.
He is a funny little kid; he's very smart, but like some kids, he doesn't have any fear. If you tell him not to do something because it will hurt him, he won't allow a person's warning to stop him. Instead, he will try it anyway.
Yes, this could hurt him, but it will also help him learn things on his own. A lot of parents try so hard to protect their children that they actually cause them to miss out on their childhood as a whole.
This isn't the case with Aaran; he loves to play with his cousins and his toys. He doesn't depend on his parents to coordinate play dates or tell him when to play or what to play with. He takes it upon himself to make projects with his Black and Decker tool kit, play tag or try to read a book.
Some adults could take a couple of notes from his book. There are adults in this world who can barely walk and talk at the same time, and a lot of them won't even try unless someone tells them to do it first.
I think this problem comes from childhood. Some adults, for one reason or another, have never really experienced childhood. They never got a chance to play red light, green light outside, or to build a clubhouse. I think those people will always have a void in their lives because of this.
All too often, we miss out on things in life because we're too scared to try something new or we're afraid of what people will say, if we go against the normal way of life.
Sometimes, I sit back and wonder when did we, as adults, become so self-conscious? I mean, obviously children haven't experienced life's twist and turns, and they probably don't even understand what life is and how it works. Regardless, kids have a heart and a backbone.
Some of them are very independent at a young age and they are not afraid to try new things. They aren't concerned about the color of a person's skin or what political party the person is affiliated with. All they want to do is play and have a good time.
I know life includes much more than that, but sometimes, we need to relax as adults and take a load off. If you've forgotten how to do this, I'm sure there is a little kid hanging around who could guide you.
Jaya Franklin covers government for the Henry Daily Herald. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.