Remember when you were a child? The world seemed so simple. Grown-ups had everything under control and took care of you, and all the problems. Then you started asking questions. “Why” was generally the most unpopular.
Why does it matter if we are late?
Why do I need a tidy bedroom?
Why are you throwing all that food away Mummy?
Why don’t you mend that broken machine instead of buying a new one Daddy?
You never really received answers that satisfied you.
Was that perhaps because the grown-ups didn’t have good answers to give? They were either doing things the way they had been taught by their parents. Or they were doing something they couldn’t justify, but didn’t want to admit it . Not to you, not to themselves either.
Then you became one of the grown-ups. With the new-found responsibility to take care of yourself, and then others, you stopped asking those questions, too busy in the business of living.
But the questions haven’t gone away. And, if you listen carefully, your own inner child is still there. It’s that little voice inside you suggesting that you let go a bit, or have more fun, or throw caution to the wind or sometimes simply just trust your instinct.
That inner child is viewing the world in simple terms. Still questioning. Listening to that voice, that inner child, can help us to navigate the ever-complicated life we lead. To figure out what really matters. To make choices because we believe in them, not just out of habit.
Sometimes it is just about having carefree fun – splashing in the puddles, smiling at the antics of a dippy dog, or munching chocolates by an open fire. But sometimes it’s about bigger issues, questioning what our values are… and why.
My penguin friend (pictured here admiring freshly baked beetroot bread the other week) represents, for me, my voice, my inner child. He smiles at me when I am low. He is patient for me when I need time to think. He reminds me of the simple pleasures in life. And he helps me to formulate questions which need asking.
This is the first in what I intend to be an on-going series of posts on Travels with my Penguin . Posts which will question the way we live today and why, in the process striving for a more sustainable world. For updates of new posts, subscribe to the RSS feed or follow me on Twitter.