LET NOT YOUNG SOULS BE SMOTHERED OUT
I felt happy-sadness coming across some of my daughters’ artwork in my storage unit. Happy because the drawings reminded me of their creativity. Such creativity! Sadness because they have chosen to bury their creativity under inhibitions, smoking, drinking and other adult activities. One daughter told me, “Daddy, I can’t have fun unless I drink.” That is not true, but that is what she tells herself. That is what a lot of adults tell themselves.
When they see children laughing, playing and kicking up a storm, do my daughters not wonder, “How can they be having so much fun without booze and drugs?”
All of us want to laugh and play and kick up a storm, but we worry about what others will think if we do so. If we use booze and drugs, then we don’t have to take responsibility for our playful and silly actions. “Man I was so pissed I didn’t know what I was doing!” When our favorite sports team wins a game, we use that as an excuse to let loose and celebrate. We have to release all that pent-up joy we have inside us. Christmas, New Years and other special occasions also give us reasons to celebrate.
Letting loose and celebrating are things children do all the time. Often they do so for the sake of doing so. They don’t need reasons for joy and laughter and to have fun, and neither do we.
One day I hope my daughters stop smothering their souls, and rediscover the joy they had as children.
Let not young souls be smothered out before
They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.
It is the world’s one crime its babes grow dull,
Its poor are oxlike, limp and leaden-eyed.
Not that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly;
Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap;
Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve;
Not that they die, but that they die like sheep.
– Vachel Lindsay (1879 – 1931)