run for your lives

Today the little person in my life had a sports day at her school. So, I went, even though I had to wake up uncommonly early for a weekend to be on time.

Sitting alone on a stumpy wall in the sun with my coffee, I was almost overcome with the sense of promise in the children milling around.

I wanted to stop each one of them and ask,
‘Child, what secret passion will you have?
What insecurity will haunt you all your life?
Who will be the first person to break your heart; or has it already happened?
Will you make your own choices or will you be led by someone who thinks they know better?
Will you be given the chance to take the time that you so obviously have to get to know yourself?
Will you be allowed to forge your own path in this world, or will others’ dreams get in the way of yours?
Will you settle?
Will there be an ‘aha’ moment in your life when everything changes, or when everything stays the same?
Will you be kind or cruel, or both?
Will you know what kind of person you really are or will you too busy trying to be, something?’
Will you fly or fail?
Will you know the difference?’

The future is sometimes held so tightly by those who think they’ve seen it. While we may be masters of our own destiny, do we really know how to point ourselves there? There is no compass but the past, so how do we know it’ll take us into the future?

How do we know the right thing for a little human who’s bursting with their own uniqueness and their own dreams, fears, loves and hates? How can we possibly know what the future holds?

It’s too uncertain, this world. Even so, I know in that crowd of promise there’s sure to be at least one passionate environmentalist, a bully or two, certainly more than a few drug addicts, mothers, fathers, a creative genius or four, definitely a number of entrepreneurs who never quite make the big time, and of course the usual doctors and lawyers and marketers.

And dreamers. Lots of dreamers because that’s how we’re born.

I only hope that the promise in those children is realised to the extent that they can still feel their souls in the decades to come. When they’re at that same field years after today, watching their own children run for their lives, that they can look back and remember the promise they once held. That they can give their children the time they need to grow and be and become.

I hope they can keep running for their lives, all of them. I hope they want to.

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