Father, Grandpa, and outdoorsman L. Woodrow Ross reflects on the wonders of childhood during the holidays, how we can help preserve that and how children help us appreciate the good things in life.
Childhood is a time of wonder and the belief that everyone is good, the world is safe, and God, or a higher power, is in control.
As we age, we learn that many of our beliefs are based on a limited input of data. We only have to read the newspaper or tune in to the local news station to see a world full of dictators, thieves and criminals of all stripes. Yes, I believe God is in control, but He gave mankind free will.
In spite of the bad things, I choose to maintain a basic belief in the goodness of people and enjoy the freedoms that we still have in the United States.
I suppose we can’t live in the past.
Things change and the world is getting smaller due to the internet and other forms of constant communication. However, we can continue to look for the best and enjoy the good things in life.
The innocence of a child is a special thing to be savored
We have two great-grandchildren, and it is a pleasure to see them progress, and how they approach life, unincumbered with the beliefs and prejudices that many adults harbor.
They are open to others and accept them based on their own relationships.
If we could only have such a pure, unencumbered approach to life, the world would be a better place.
Whatever happened to Santa Claus, picnics in the park, or pleasant drives on Sunday afternoon?
The world is moving so fast that we often don’t take time for the things that really matter. Personal relationships are the cornerstone of family and community.
When we see the pure, unadulterated joy in a child’s eyes as Mommy or Daddy walks into the room, we are reminded about what really matters in life. How they want to share their lives and the little things that are meaningful to them with others is special. Their love is unconditional, and it grabs onto our heartstrings in its purity and reality.
As we recall the famous words, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” it reinforces our belief in the goodness of people and the wonder of a child’s belief in the good things in life.
This editorial by Francis Pharcellus Church first appeared on September 21, 1897, in response to an inquiry by then-eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon asking if Santa Claus was real.
The Sun newspaper in New York republished the column every year from 1924 to 1950 when the paper ceased publication.
Church summed up his response with these words:
“No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
Oh, to have the faith and purity of a child. To crush the wonder and excitement of childhood would be the cruelest of cruelties.
While we all have to face the realities of the world, let us not rush children into the harshness of such but support their basic belief that all is well in the world.
No, I don’t want to grow up if it means forgetting the wonders of life, the loving relationships with family, the joys of raising a family and seeing them mature into honest, responsible citizens.
I am inspired by a child’s sense of wonder and excitement in learning about the world around them and the loving embrace of their family and friends.
Yes, I believe in Santa Claus, God, love, and all the truths that have been proved over and over again.
In my opinion, modern society has become too intellectual and centered on financial achievement. We have lost our appreciation for the simplicity of childhood, honesty and loving our fellow man.
Again, I say, if I have to give up on these basic truths, I don’t want to grow up.
May your days with your little ones be merry and bright!