Can you imagine what your life would look like if you could recapture the confidence and creativity you had when you were four, bridled only by the values and morals you’ve developed as an adult?
If an alien race were to come down and study our culture, what do you think they would learn about men? Perhaps they would look at our action movies and assume that men are violent, emotionless, predatory, and aggressive. Or they could look at many of our campaigns and headlines, and assume the same thing. Our movies and media rhetoric sell this story all the time; but it’s not true. Okay, yes, some men are violent, emotionless, predatory and aggressive, but so are some women; these are the exception rather than the rule.
Most boys don’t come prepackaged with the intent to harm others. I’ve given birth to four of them and I can tell you what is built-in though. Boys come with emotions, perceptions, and determination—just like girls. They cry when their caregivers cry. They feel, and they feel deeply. Emotions are not limited to one half of the population.
If you taught yourself to ignore your emotions when you were a boy, you might not believe me, but it’s true. Somewhere, deep inside, you have feelings as rich and vibrant and powerful as anyone else on this planet. You have wants and wishes; hurt and shame.
The greatest creature anywhere on the planet, I’m convinced, is a four-year-old child. They’ve made enough sense of the world to basically know how to survive. They can eat, get dressed, communicate, use the bathroom, etc, but often they haven’t been tainted by inhibition yet.
My current four-year-old (I’ve had three others) plays for hours every day with the same set of white blocks. Those blocks become a different set of toys and a different world for him to immerse himself in every single day.
Today, they’re transformers:
I’m a high school teacher by trade and I can tell you that no one, male or female, escapes junior high unscathed. We all leave scarred and inhibited to varying degrees. All you have to do is compare bus stops to see the change. An elementary school bus stop has kids running, laughing and playing; and often a few frazzled parents trying to make sure no one gets hit by a passing car in the process. Most junior high and high school bus stops are silent. Even kids who have been friends for years barely acknowledge each other.
Can you imagine what your life would look like if you could recapture all the confidence and creativity you had when you were four, bridled only by the values and morals you’ve developed as an adult? Who would you be if you could peel away the layers of hurt and shame that have locked up your tender soul?
I’ll tell you who you’d be. You’d be the kind of man you would love and be proud of. You’d be the kind of man others respect and want to be around. You’d be the kind of man who could make his wishes come true—because you’d be able to pick yourself up when you fall and imagine your way through your challenges.
So what’s stopping you? What is preventing you from releasing your inner child and unbridling your potential? What would it take to get back all the confidence and creativity you had when you were four?
Please tell me in the comments, anonymously if you want, so I can research and attempt to address whatever’s holding you back in future articles.
You only have one life; and I want you to love it.
Photo: Getty Images
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