Part of our delight with children comes from enjoying their unabashed honesty and innocence. They live life straight out.
Laughter is spontaneous and hearty; displeasure is in-your-face; enthusiasm knows no limits. There's integrity in that.
Inside each of us is the child we once were. Before we learned to smile politely, whether amused or not, and were taught to walk instead of skip, we were exactly what we showed the world.
Maybe that's why we love to hear an innocent child's peal of laughter - it's so real.
The same validity we sense from little children
we still sense from adults who never lost
their core of honesty.
Socialization is more than just necessary, it is a good thing. We need to develop manners, we need to learn to share our toys, we need to blend in with each other. But have we gone too far?
I wonder if the thirst for Reality TV might be a manifestation of our hunger to get to the core of feelings and behaviors? Under intense scrutiny and pressure we eventually let it all hang out. Sooner or later, everyone knows everything. I think we all want to know what is, and what is not, real. What we need to seek is a balance. We need to say please and thank you even when we don't have our heart in it, but, basically, what we appear to be should be what we are. What a refreshing concept!
Perhaps the search for reality is little more than a need to be valid, to tell the truth, to have integrity and to be in the company of people who have integrity. The same validity we sense from little children we still sense from adults who never lost their core of honesty. There are people we all know who can be described as innocent in the sense that they speak the truth and we know they do - they send out vibes of validity and we sense their integrity. There is a comfort level we feel in their presence. Barry Hobbs is such a man, as is Jim Creekmore, Warren Aleck, and Bill Austin. Joan Bateman is such a woman, as is Mardie DeFeo, Mary Montero, and Elaine Thompson.
What we really want our children to have
is integrity - and it's not something we can measure.
It is not about being right or wrong and rich or poor.
I've just named eight people I'm proud to know and perhaps only two percent of the two hundred thousand plus people who receive a Shopper have the pleasure of knowing them, too. But I expect someone popped into the thoughts of each of you as you read this list and thought to yourself, "and Hugh Copeland and Wynn Dixon, Angie Lowry, Jimmy Lewis, Tina Preston, Bev Pillars, Crystal Anderson, John Cranham, and -."
Did someone think of you or me? Wouldn't we like them to think of us? Maybe we should tell someone we thought about him or her as an example. Maybe we should tell our children who we thought about, and why. Let's let them know what we value in adults. It is not about being right or wrong and rich or poor. It is something far more important than how much education they get or how much money they earn. What we really want our children to have is integrity - and it's not something we can measure. It is, however, something we should model.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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