Trust me, I'm completely enthralled with Michael Jordan and the success he had. I love his character, his drive, his work ethic, his confidence and optimism. I want those. I always have. I can't argue with anyone that these qualities lead to good relationships, achievement and fulfillment. I looked forward to my 23rd birthday with excitement, and still consider my Michael Jordan cake the best I've ever had!
Yet I wonder what kids expect if they are like Mike. What does Michael Jordan have that the kid wants? Think about that for a moment.
Often what they want is the money, fame and superiority to all other athletes that the kid wants? But they don't realize that isn't what they are really after. Those are a means to an end. What the kid, and you and I, are really after is the hypothesized attention, admiration, respect, value and yes, love that we think will come from the money, fame and superiority.
Consider it. Perhaps it's Mike that wants to be like that kid. Kids have an innocence, a purity, an authenticity that do lead to admiration, attention and love. As we grow older we realize that these qualities also put us at risk of being taken advantage of. These qualities can make us vulnerable. So we've learned to bridle them. And seek their benefits through inferior, and even empty, substitutes of money, fame and being #1.
Granted money, fame and superiority are not void of all benefits. I seek two of the three pretty regularly myself. There is satisfaction, confidence, security and often an elation from achieving them. However, alone, they don't lead to what most of us expect to get. They don't lead to the deep fulfillment by themselves.
I wrote this poem as I reflected on my four children. How is it that they are so happy? How come everyone loves them? And they love everyone? Aren't those things they have, what I want? Am I looking for this happiness in the right places, in the right way? I determined I want to be more like my kids. I would bet Mike does too....
What does it mean: hearts knit together?
How can it be taught: love lasts forever?
Who can comprehend: a bond never undone?
Where is it understood: twain becomes one?
The experienced heart is trust-resistant.
The trained eye sees only so distant.
The familiar day forgets family succession.
The responsible moment stifles true expression.
Might meaning, then, reside in the purity of heart?
Will teaching be from the eye now seeing the start?
Could comprehension come from each day newly lived?
Might understanding be the innocent moment’s gift?
The child’s inexperienced heart is free to knit together.
The child’s untrained eye finds love in an immense forever.
The child’s unfamiliar day brings possibility of bonds never undone.
The child’s innocent moment allows twain to be one.
Approaching child-like existence, love is more clearly understood
As a mutual, unbridled release for a greater good.
Love is captured in the unconditional gift of oneself to another
And the reciprocated embrace of living for each other.
Being like a kid...that's a slam dunk!