dpbowman

The posings of a poet.

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them


   I have noticed there is a pervasive belief that efficiency is the same as maturity, or at the very least a measure of it. In short, if you choose to spend your time, effort, or energy on what others deem as a waste, you are immature and childish. The problem with that is, and ever will be, that the terms are, by and large, subjective. Take a look:
 

ef·fi·cien·cy

  [ih-fish-uhn-see]  

noun, plural ef·fi·cien·cies.
 
1. the state or quality of being efficient; competency in performance.

 

ma·tu·ri·ty

  [muh-choor-i-tee, -toor-, -tyoor-, -chur-] 

noun
 
1. the state of being mature; ripeness: The fruit will reach maturity in a few days.
2. full development; perfected condition: maturity of judgment; to bring a plan to maturity.
 
First of all, read the pronunciation syllable for syllable and keep a straight face, oh, reaaaaal mature! 
Now that you made it through that, look at efficiency. Competency in performance.
 

com·pe·tence

  [kom-pi-tuhns]  

noun
1. the quality of being competent; adequacy; possession of required skill, knowledge, qualification, or capacity: He hired her because of her competence as an accountant.
 
Adequacy. Admit it, this depends on your mood most of the time. Sitting in traffic for 4 hours because someone made a common mistake and caused an accident? How INadequate! But if it were you in the accident…
 

per·for·mance

  [per-fawr-muhns]  

noun

1. a musical, dramatic, or other entertainment presented before an audience.
2. the act of performing a ceremony, play, piece of music, etc.
3. the execution or accomplishment of work, acts, feats, etc.
4. a particular action, deed, or proceeding.
5. an action or proceeding of an unusual or spectacular kind:
 
4 or 5? A particular act I’m adequate in or an unusual one?
Sarcasm gene…kicking in….must…move…on.
 
So efficiency is being adequate in a particular, possibly unusual, act that often draws its judgement during times of duress….In a word: Subjective.
 
Maturity.
Ripeness. Full development. 
Is anyone there?
We can’t even wait to pick mature bananas before shipping them off, who are we to judge ripeness? 
 
      Now, forget all that technical wordplay. 
      Think of how you write. Smallish, quick strokes or grand, looping waves? I bet they fit within the margins and follow a straight line. Look at how a child writes throughout elementary. Largely, boldly, nearly ripping the paper and margins and straight-edges be damned! We don’t want that though.
“No passion in writing, thank you all the same. Keep it neat, that’s what matters, but for heaven’s sake be BOLD…no, not literally, well yes literally, but….just stay in the margins please.” Mr. Hancock was quite immature, I’m sure!
     What if you made a mistake? Quick small swipes of the eraser. After all, it is a point of pride to have a stub of a pencil with eraser still in mint condition. Now watch a child. Mistake? I SHALL OBLITERATE IT. They erase until there is nearly a hole, or in fact there is a hole, through the page. They blow off the excess rubber as if it were sawdust from a mill! Erasers are made to be used up, I think there’s a term for hoarding them, but I’m no psychologist. 
     What of art? If you still doodle, it’s probably only in the margins, or in a specified notebook. Coloring? Look at my shading and depth! It’s chalk, get over it. Child? Just watch his face. Pure joy. Pure mess, but pure abandonment to joy. The art is in creating and what the artist sees. Who cares about the beholder? Unless it’s mom or dad, that is. “Well, that’s nice dear…what is it? Oh, a unicorn driving a train made of Twinkies through a waterfall of M & M’s? …..yeah, I see it. (squints and nods).” Did Van Gogh’s parents fuss at him to use less paint?
 
Blah, blah, blah….what’s my point?
Enjoy life.
Make a mess.
Waste your time.
Waste your energy.
Waste yourself in living.
The trick is to only do it on what matters to you and you alone.
Let the “mature” and “efficient” lead their lives.
Ignore their epithets of “Child” and “Immature”.
I for one would love to be remembered as one who is bold in my subject matter and its presentation.
One who is unafraid of mistakes, because there are always more erasers and paper.
One who is so passionate you can almost see that Twinkie train for yourself.
     
     My now 4 year old daughter said it best. After being told she had to do more work and less talking as an adult she replied, “I don’t wanna be a DULT!” I replied then, and ever will, “Me either darlin’, me either.”
 
My sandbox is open. If I’m out, check the tree house or just leave me a painting.
Gotta go, my kids wanna run in the rain.
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7 thoughts on “And A Little Child Shall Lead Them

  1. Rhonda on said:

    I. Am smiling so widely. 🙂 ah dear Dan. A joy to read this. A true joy. I…Could not agree more! 🙂 hope you are well. Enjoy the rain.

  2. Must agree with the sentiment expressed here…celebrate life!

  3. standing here with bucket and spade where are you?

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