In many parts of the world, children are seen as dispensable and unimportant. You may have heard it said that children should be seen, not heard. However, in the Bible, in Matthew 18:2-4 (KJV), it says, “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” These verses are saying that children are so important to Jesus, that He has made being like one a requirement for people to go into heaven! Although there are characteristics of children that we should absolutely not imitate (to be discussed in another post), there are several that absolutely should be a part of most, if not all, of an adult’s character as well. These following traits of most children are what can make our lives more joyful and fulfilling:
- The wonder/awe of a child.—As a sales associate, I get to see children on almost a daily basis. Although some of them do things that most adults may seem annoying, I love the awe and the curiosity that many children have. They love to learn and explore new and different things. This attitude is essential for adults to have as well. For instance, I try to have the wonder and awe of a child when I am learning a new task at work. When people lose their sense of awe and wonder at their job, their performance usually suffers because they no longer care about what and how they are doing. These people aren’t willing to try or learn new things. When we have the wonder of a child, we are more open to be able to learn new things.
- The creativity of a child.—Most children are very creative because of their wonder and awe of everything around them. They love to create and learn new things. I know this was true of me as a child as well. When I was disciplined and had to do a quiet activity like reading or writing, instead of doing something more fun, I used to write little stories about the world around me and/or the world in my head. A lot of children when asked to draw their family, for example, have very creative ways of expressing their families and how they look like to them. Creativity is also essential for adults. Because we have more life experience, having the creativity of a child coupled with this experiential wisdom can help us grow as people because we can constantly do things more efficiently and/or look at things from different perspectives. Looking at things from different angles, as opposed to being closed-minded, can help adults be more unified with one another and with children in a positive way, and can help us understand others better.
- The trust of a child—that they see the best in others.—When I was very young, I was very trusting of others. Yes, this could have been a problem when people wanted to take advantage of me, but all in all, the faith of a child is beautiful because it sees the best in others. Unless severely abused, most children are not cynical or suspicious of others. They see the best in others. This was true of me as well. For instance, when I didn’t see or hear Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, I did not suspect that my parents were lying about him, but that he must have come in quietly or that he was just delayed. However, as I got older and had more life experience, that trust of others quickly ebbed away. However, I would like to regain the trust of others that I had as a child, seeing the best in others, because being cynical and negative about others creates friction and is not a good way to live. When I don’t trust others, I cannot bond with and love them the way that I need to in order to sustain a lasting relationship with them. When someone wrongs me, but I still strive to see the good in them, I create an atmosphere of grace, instead of judgment and condemnation that is so often created when one is wronged by another. Having the trust of a child can help one spiritually as well. For instance, I believe in the goodness and the faithfulness of God. However, when I fail to trust God as I believe I should, my spiritual life and my mood suffer.
- The innocence of a child.—Very young children typically don’t curse others (unless it is a regular occurrence in their home) and they usually aren’t allowed to see some of the evil that adults often do. Some parents don’t allow their children to see certain movies or television shows because they want to preserve the innocence of that child. When the innocence of a child is shattered, usually by abuse or being exposed to certain evils that are beyond their grasp, these children are scarred forever. These things not only take away their sense of innocence but also their trust in others and the world around them. However, when a child’s innocence is allowed to remain for an appropriate period of time, I believe that they are more likely to be well-adjusted and have a positive view of the world around them. Although most of us adults have seen enough evils of the world not to be able to have the absolute innocence of a child, I believe we can regain some of it back by choosing not to participate in some of the things we believe are evil in the world around us. For instance, I see rape culture as not only degenerating to people but also as evil. This is why I will not watch movies, listen to music, or read books that glorify rape or the treatment of people as objects. When we regain some of our childlike innocence, we can begin to have a more positive impact on this world.
These are some of the qualities of children that adults should emulate. If we had the wonder and awe, the creativity, the trust, and the innocence of a child, I believe that this world would be a better and more productive place in which to live. What are some childlike qualities that you, as an adult, want to imitate today? If you have children, what qualities do you see in them, would you like to incorporate in your own character? Please feel free to discuss this in comments
Disclaimer: I am in no way against marriage or good relationships. However, these are my reasons that I choose to be single for right now and for the near future. Please no disparaging comments about anyone, or your comment will be deleted. Thank you.
For many years, I have wanted to be in a relationship; I wanted to find “The One.” When I would go to weddings, though I would be happy for the couple, I felt a little envious too and depressed at myself that that wasn’t my life. When I heard my friends were having children, I felt sad for myself that I wasn’t a mom. It has been over 30 years, and I still haven’t found “The One.” However, I am happier today than I have ever been at any point in my life. Here is why I choose to remain single and why I am happy being this way:
- I love the relative freedom I have to serve God and others.—Sure there are constraints on my time since I work and do other things, but I would have even more if I were in a relationship. At this point in my life, I need to be free to serve God and others without being distracted 24/7 from that goal by another person. I know that sounds selfish, but for the season of life that I’m in, my singleness has worked effectively in building more relationships with others and being able to communicate and express myself more freely. I would love to one day talk to people about God’s love and that may involve a lot of travel, which would be taxing for another person, especially if they don’t share exactly the same passion as I do. I don’t want them to have to go through that.
- Along with #1, I am WAY too busy to invest in a serious, romantic relationship with another.—Between working a full-time job, church activities at least twice a week, blogging and preparing to create a business with that, and other things, I have little time even for myself, let alone loads of one-on-one time with a guy. If I were to date someone right now, I would probably end up breaking up with him soon, because I would not have the proper time to invest in him. For me, it would be better to stay single, than to give less than my best to a person I claim to love, or at least admire.
- Along with #2, I am so busy and already invest in a lot of people, I would have little left emotionally to give to my significant other.—By the end of each day, I am usually close to wanting to sleep. If I were to try to invest in a serious, romantic relationship with someone, I would either go crazy or not have any emotional support left to give them. I would be so spent that it would be impossible to provide what my significant other needed! Either I would have to slowly scale back what I am doing now (which I feel God and myself don’t want right now) or my significant other would have to be exactly in sync with what I am doing and feeling (possibility of that happening all or most of the time: slim to none!).
- I don’ t want to be so distracted by a guy that I end up suffering spiritually.—When I “like, like” a guy, I tend to be very distracted by him and his desires, to the point where I don’t focus on God anymore or as much. I don’t want that to happen to me. My relationship with God and my spirituality are critical to me, and no guy is worth that much to me that I am willing to sacrifice God for him. If I am with a guy, he and I need to be at a point where we are both on the same page spiritually and I am focused on God first.
- I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy.—Contrary to what I thought before, I don’t actually need to be in a relationship to be happy. God and others have shown me that I don’t need a boyfriend or significant other. Even if I remain single for the rest of my life, I won’t end up being an “Old Maid” or something. I would still be serving God and others. I would likely still have some friends, and I have the trust that I still would be provided for somehow.
- I am not ready for a relationship with that magnitude.—Another reason I am single is that I simply am not ready to make a lifetime or even an extended commitment to another person like that. I am still figuring out what God wants me to do with my life, specifically. I know He wants me to serve and love Him for others, but how that looks like is still somewhat unclear to me. Also, I am not in the mood or ready to “settle down” yet. I actually fear that I would be bored and depressed like I was before I had my previous job if I were to “settle down” with someone.
- I haven’t found “The One” yet.—I have had crushes on several people, but they all let me down in the end. I have wanted to be in relationships with someone who I thought was single until they got into a relationship. I won’t lower my standards or accept anyone for a mate that is less than God’s best for me, because I would take dating and marital commitments very seriously. I don’t ever want to go through the pain of getting a divorce or end up with someone who is less than faithful to me or ends up abusing me.
These are some of the reasons why I am single. Contrary to most of what society thinks, I don’t believe one needs to be in a romantic relationship to be happy and whole. I think that, in general, I have been the happiest and most content that I have been in a long time. And I am still single.
I have met many people, and I believe that each person has at least one positive and one negative personality trait. I also believe that this world needs to cultivate more of the positive traits in people and not focus so much on the negatives. These are a list of my closest friends, both offline and online, and some of their positive qualities that I believe should be emulated by everyone. For privacy reasons, I will be using pseudonyms for their names. However, rest assured, these ARE real people I know!
- Erica--If you ask her for her opinion, she will give you her honest assessment. She will not dance around the truth or lie to make you feel better. I like that about her. She also strives to be always considerate of others’ feelings and experiences. When I don’t like something, she will not pressure me into it. She will also compromise her wishes for others’ if that would encourage and make them feel better unless of course, it is an issue of morality or her faith in God.
- Kelly-– She is generous and kind. She will listen to you when you tell her something that is important to you. She almost always has fun activities and/or meals made whenever I visit her. I always feel that I can relate to her struggles because of her openness and honesty about them. She is one of my favorite friends with whom to spend time.
- Veronica--One of the first things I saw about her that has left a lasting, good impression on me is her utter joy and love for people and for life. 90% of the time she has a big smile on her face. Due to privacy reasons, I will not show you her face, but I wish I could because whenever she comes into a room her joy, humor, and love just light up the room! When I first met her, unfortunately, I wasn’t as joyful as she was. In fact, I was still slightly depressed. However, as time goes on, I have wanted to emulate her (as well as encourage others to, too) in her positive attitude towards life and people.
- Jennifer–Jennifer is my friend from work. She has always been patient and kind to me, even when I have been stressed. Additionally, she has the right words to say to encourage me and help me through issues. She also allows me to vent without judgment or condemnation when I am having a bad day. I enjoy hanging out with her because of her great love for others and me, and that she has been a loyal friend to me.
- Terri–Terri is a newer, but great, friend that I met when I first started attending my current church. She always prays for others and has compassion for those in need. She is vibrant and passionate about her faith in Christ, yet she isn’t pushy or preachy. She devotes her life to serving God and others in what she does, says, and thinks. When I had an issue at work, she would always pray for and/or encourage me through it.
- Anna– Anna is one of my online friends. She knows how to encourage people and validate them. She also strives to persevere through life despite illness and other difficulties that may come her way. I also love how she is passionate (like me) to make sure people with mental health issues get treated better and more like humans, instead of like animals that have to be caged or controlled.
- Betty- Betty was my discipler at my former church. What I appreciate most about her is that she is always honest about things and does not shy away from the truth. She is also caring for me, even being willing to visit me at work when she had only a few days with her family when she was in my town.
- K--Like Erica, K always tells you the truth when you ask her opinion on something. She is also very supportive of others and me and is always willing to be there for me when I need to chat. She doesn’t take nonsense or manipulation, but if you have a legitimate need that she can provide, I believe she will do that for you. Like me, she loves animals and has two pets of her own. Unfortunately, for me, I cannot have pets right now, but I would love to someday.
- Ted— Ted is another one of my friends at work. Like Jennnifer, he always allows me to open up about stressful issues without judging or condemning me. He also helps me with my work when he has time and because he believes that we should work as a team. He is also one of the hardest workers at my workplace, coming in even when he was in physical pain sometimes! I wish more people would have such determination and drive to persevere despite tough circumstances, including me!
- Holly- Holly has taught me so much about life! She is a master validator and supporter of others, even though she hasn’t been supported as much herself. She always knows the right words to say to make people feel loved and encouraged. She is also very intelligent in her words and in her speech. If you ever read her works, you would think she was a graduate student! She has also taught me to be more compassionate and considerate of others.
I will be discussing WHY these give me joy. These are in no particular order or ranking. These things are not all exhaustive either.
- God—He is my light and my salvation. He is the source of my joy. He’s awesome!
- my family–all of them 🙂 They have been there for me through thick and thin. They have been exceedingly generous and caring for me.
- hanging out with my friends–all of them, you know who you are 🙂 They have been there for me too. I enjoy having deep spiritual conversations and just talking about life with them. I have enjoyed spending time with them by watching movies, shopping and eating at restaurants with them or just going over to each others’ homes.
- my online friends—Kat, Kassi and Abbey. You have been a great love and support to me. Your validation and grace have meant a lot to me when my other supports were lacking. So, thank you.
- my managers at work--Each one of them has given me some measure of joy and taught me the value of hard work. I have learned so much from each one of you, so thank you.
- my blogging community--I don’t know where I would be without you, the valued reader. You are awesome! 🙂
- sunshine-–I love the sun! It makes the day so much brighter and lovely. I love being outside when the temperature is nice and it’s sunny out.
- animals—I love dogs, cats, and all types of animals. The only one that I really don’t prefer is the Canadian goose. I love that they don’t judge you and how uniquely precious God made each one.
- butterflies–I like how intricate and beautiful God made them. Unfortunately, I rarely see those! 😦
- the teachings of the Bible and how it illumines the greatness of God–I love that when I follow the Bible’s teachings seriously that I find that I have more joy and peace in my life. I also like that it exalts God and reflects how much He has done in others’ lives, including my own.
- flowers-–I like all the different colors and types of flowers there are in the world. I love seeing a whole bunch of them together in nature (a.k.a, a garden).
- church–I love my church. I recently became a member, and I don’t regret it one bit! I love both the people and the building. I love singing the hymns and the pastors’ sermons are always relevant to my life. Even the guest speakers are good! I’ve learned so much from my current church, including how to have a good devotional time with God.
- writing–I love writing and sharing what I’ve learned with others. I hope the readers of this blog will be a.) inspired to write about their own experiences and things they have learned in life. b.) take away something from this blog to apply to their own lives. I also like writing poetry sometimes.
- Chinese food-— I love Chinese food. I like how the dishes have a lot of vegetables and are tasty. I also love any Chinese noodle dishes, though I also like the rice dishes and most of the other dishes as well.
- Mexican food--I love the cheese in Mexican dishes and all the different flavors they use in their dishes. Yum…
- Moomin characters— I love the cuteness of Moomin characters and that they always seem to want to learn new things and go on new adventures. Also, the books that are based on these characters are also very good, and one is able to escape from the pressures of life in these books.
- stuffed teddy bears—I love teddy bears. They are the cutest darndest stuffed animals in the world.
- People serving others.–I love when people help others in need. For instance, I think the outpouring of love and support to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey is nothing short of amazing. If you would like to be a part of this, please see this post for more information.
- birds chirping-–I love the sound of birds chirping. It is such a peaceful sound to me and tells me that everything is alive and well.
- VeggieTales–especially the banter between Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato. 🙂 ‘Nuff said.
- Beautiful scenery--including forests, forests with a mountain backdrop, the oceans, lakes, and rivers (as long as it doesn’t look polluted), flowers, jungles, etc…
- encouraging notes and letters— I love validation and encouragement. I also love giving the same to others.
- Christian Music–I love how the music has meaningful lyrics and encourages me in my walk with God. The music is part of what propelled my search for God before I became a Christian!
- authenticity--I love when people don’t have pretenses about who they are and are loving and caring for me because they want to, not because they have to or have some type of ulterior motives. I also love it when people can be honest with me and not lie about who they are or what they think.
- reconciliation in relationships–I consider it not only a relief but a blessing when I am able to reconcile with someone, or when I see two people, in general, reconcile with each other after a difficult period in their relationship, whether a friendship, a romantic relationship or other types of relationships.
- caring customers at work--I love it when customers are patient, kind, considerate and thankful for the work not only that I put in every day, but also others with whom I work. I love it when they say “thank you.” I am particularly appreciative of customers who take the time to fix the displays they look at without being expected or asked.
- a good rest or nap— Makes me so refreshed and joyful to be able to have a good night’s rest (or afternoon nap on my days off).
- books–I love to read about a variety of subjects. However, I read mostly non-fiction. My favorites right now are Christian living, food recipes, travel guides, conflict resolution in the workplace, and biographies or autobiographies.
- magazines–I love to read magazines on similar subjects as above. I also like writing magazines to better this blog and to further my writing endeavors.
- trees-I like trees not only because they provide shade but also because they are beautiful and strong, just like I want to be.
I wrote this poem on 9/8/2017. This is about how God changed my life and filled my soul. It can be also be seen as the love of a romantic partner or friend, but for me, this is more God’s great love for me that filled my soul and made it whole!
You created a spark in my heart
That could never be burnt out
You etched your love in me
That would always be
Your whole Being invaded my soul
Chasing away the hurt and pain
That threatened to doom me forever
And drive me insane
Your entire Being permeates my soul
And makes me happily whole
‘Til your amazing love oozes out of me
Like a lush, flowing stream of pure water