Initially I did not notice his appearance. What caught my eyes was the intensity that he was listening to the older man. His bright eyes were fixed. The man moved, they moved. He proposed, the other responded. Everything screamed attention. The kid’s focus was only on the person in front of him.
Each phase of human maturity has a different appearance. This kid reflected the intensity hat comes during the age of coachable. I doubt there is a formal name for this. I am not sure that academics recognize this in the same way. I find that there is a magical age between the age of awareness (four or five) and the age of becoming a person. This is when the individual is open to new ideas, willing to try anything that a person they trust suggests, and will reach beyond her/his limitations. It is a special time! Nothing is impossible. Possibilities are emerging from all sides. Hope is always present.
I wish this age lasted longer than it seems to. Somewhere, somehow things change. The thirst to know is replaced with the confidence of knowing. The willingness to listen is dominated by the need to talk. Imagination is reshaped by the awareness of boundaries. Hope decides to take a break with Doubt usually arriving in its place.
As I look at that age I am struck by the change that I went through along with everyone else. I thought I was gaining wisdom with age. I presumed I knew more than I did. I heard the wisdom says but they did not make sense. One especially stood out; “Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid.” (1 Corinthians 3.19)
Life invites you and me to be more than we are. We hold an opportunity to learn and grow. Life is willing to coach us. An obstacle that stands out is our (mine at least) ability to listen and follow my coach’s instructions. Today is an opportunity to reach into the past and out towards the future.