It is easy to see people as stars when they are children. Their limbs are still short, so the star shape is visible. Their smiles are so bright and their laughter so robust. They are comfortable being stars at the center of everyone’s attention. They are proud to show what they can do, and be what they can be.
For adults, being a star is something complicated and mostly reserved for those with a Hollywood address. Many of us have learned to smile without the happy involvement of our eyes. Most of us know not to come across as egocentric, but in such holding back we often lose touch with genuine expression and genuine curiosity towards others.
Children’s actions are full of meaning. When they learn to talk it is because they have noticed that talking makes things happen. When their mother says hi to their father he says hi back. One is the cause and the other the effect as a new cause for her to respond some more. The loop of cause and effect is intoxicating with magic, with the ability to make things happen.
They are just beginning to learn all of these magic tricks. With enthusiastic humility, they partake in various apprenticeships for the sake of mastering the world. They understand that with each mastery comes a promise of more freedom.
Their natural standpoint is a feeling of inner freedom. They are invincible yet always ready to cry if they need to. They are comfortable with the flickering movement of uncertainty, laughing one moment, running another and expressing vulnerability the next.
Yet all of this inner freedom leads to road blocks of outer freedom. When they yell and whine then they often don’t get the sympathetic ear. When they steal the toy from another kid then the kid gets angry and they have to deal with that. When they don’t look where they are going, they bump into things.
The point is, that the feeling of inner freedom soon proves to be not enough. The kids really want to be outwardly free as well, and they know that to be outwardly free means to master their worlds. They are stars after all, and stars are powerful organizing forces, causing the planetary bodies to fall into orbit. Stars make things happen.
The centrifugal force of the sun is similar to the emanating ‘freedom’ instilled in every living creature, be it chipmunk’s split decision to take a right instead of a left or a man’s decision to change a career of 20 years. The more consequence that a choice has, the easier it becomes to intuit the cosmic fire of freedom whose reality is so big because its reality is meaning itself.
Children know this fire to be their own. They recognize it in others and they marvel at its capacity to inspire and create.
The adult is still playing, but more often than not, the game is playing them. They end up putting too much stock in the game rather than their particular role in the game. “That’s life” one might say, whereas they should be saying “that’s my life” as a more direct challenge to such a statement. Is that your life? Is that who you are?
The heritage of the star that must not be forgotten. It comes from an inexhaustible and creative fire; an appetite to know, relate, make and become. This is a zesty appetite. Children have it in spades. It is a loving desire to make things happen.
Each individual has their own sun, their own kind of fiery appetite to make things happen. The more one can establish values and habits to support this star the more pertinent things/people/ideas fall into orbit. That is the game.
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