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Our View: Childlike wonder, let's have more of it




In Sunday's edition, Lifestyles editor Jan Swoope told the story of Erik Studdard, a Columbus graphic artist with a passion for toy photography, which involves staging small toy characters in scenes, then photographing them.  


For Studdard, it's not-for-profit enterprise. He does it for the joy of re-connecting with his childhood and advancing his art.  


It is difficult to imagine a more benign story, one that seemed immune to criticism. 


But today, no such topic exists. 


The first comment on the online version of the story quoted 1 Corinthians 13:11: "When was a child, I thought as a child...But when I became a man I put away childish things." 


That, of course, is not only a misappropriated verse, it also contradicts another scripture, "Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven," -- Matthew 18:3 


But putting aside theology, it is unfortunate this attitude exists. 


There are many things about childhood we should outgrow, certainly. 


But a child's appreciation of the wonders around him, a child's curiosity, a child's ability to enjoy even the simplest pleasures should not be cast aside.  


It is an empty life that has no room for play, for imagination, for fantasy. 


We are reminded of this by the story that unfolded at a metro station in Washington D.C.  


A man started playing the violin and for 45 minutes played six Bach pieces as the rush hour crowd passed him by with hardly a pause. An observer noted that just six people paused even for a moment or two to listen and the person who showed the most interest was a 3-year-old boy who stood transfixed by the music and had to be dragged away by his mom.  


The crowd did not recognize that the violinists was Joshua Bell, one of the world premier's violinists, playing one of the most intricate pieces ever written on a violin worth $3.5 million.  


The night before he had played to a packed house where the tickets went for $100 and up. 


It was the child in that metro station, above all others, who truly appreciated the moment, mainly because that's where children live -- in the perpetual now -- with little thought of what has passed or is yet to come. 


Wouldn't all of use be the better if we could do, through conscious effort, what children do so naturally?  


If through play, we can recapture that purity of youthful delight, we are better people. 


Studdard probably understands this. 


Put away childish things? 


Perish the thought.



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