3. The Gift of Connecting with the Innocence and Light of Children
“A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who doesn’t play has lost forever the child who lived in him and who he will miss terribly.” — Pablo Neruda
Once at a center, I was taking pictures of some sports activities that the staff organized. I was ready to capture a moment when suddenly I felt a slight tug on my shirt. I looked down and saw a little 3-year-old girl who asked me if I could put my camera aside to play ball with her. She didn’t have siblings, and her friend hadn’t come that day.
I was amazed at the tenderness with which the girl told me this, and I couldn’t resist putting down my camera to play with her for a few minutes. Spending quality time with the children of the centers has allowed me to remember and reconnect with childlike qualities: innocence, purity, enthusiasm, optimism and the capacity for wonder.
Sadly, as we grow, diverse limiting beliefs, conditioning, disappointments and experiences of life start turning off more and more of these beautiful qualities until we can be completely disconnected from them.
But in my two years of this role — thanks to constantly interacting with children through playing with them, talking and connecting with their interests, observing them and receiving their affection — I have reconnected with my inner child.
And thanks to this, I have more fun doing my job and can connect with my most creative side.