In a small beach community, known as Seaside, FL, there’s an amphitheater located in the middle of town with a wonderful green lawn for sitting during performances. There are always kids running and playing on the lawn. Waiting for dinner one evening, I watched them skipping, rolling, and laughing with seemingly endless energy. It dawned on me how genuine and real these kids were, not a care in the world.
The days of careless abandon are numbered for many of them, however. Their parents, who love them more than life itself, will unknowingly chip away at that joy. I can almost hear it now: “Calm down Jess, you are embarrassing me. You can’t wear that shirt to school, Cole, what will people think? Softball?! Why can’t you go out for cheerleading like Maggie’s girls? Big boys don’t cry, Eric.
Almost overnight, these bright creative kids start to believe that something is wrong with them and they can’t be themselves. As they age, the lucky ones will dial into the BS, shake it off, and become comfortable with themselves again. The kids who are unable to shake the notion that they are blemished will live their lives looking in the mirror and seeing some type of flaw, when in fact, they are flawless. As they grow and mature they too will seek to be the perfect human their peers crave….and when they finally have children, they will work very hard to teach their children how important it is to be perfect too.
And the brainwashing continues……………