Through Small Circles

Little V eyeOur lives are often quantified by the number and size of our circles. The nuclear family is our first circle. Our corporate and social circles expand in our youth and contract as we age.

Coins stashed for retirement or merely to be amassed treasure are stacked into cylinders. We even count the circles under our eyes. What about the life seen through the smallest circles?

Children look at the world without cynicism. They decry the things and people before them in terms not jaded by experience or heartache. They call a spade a spade and care not a wit adults would be offended by such declarations.

Many of us would give up money and possessions to return to an age where we were free of the battle scars of both the school of hard knocks and the university of life. Others of us would never go back for love nor money. Both camps will agree to the trip with the caveat If I knew then what I know now…


In their innocence, children propose the simplest solutions to conundrums adults are unable to ravel. For instance, the child of the widow asks when the new suitor will take her last name. The logic is so simple. The family is the widow and the child. Acceptance of the beau means he joins them, not the other way around, as the society sees it. A simple matter of majority rule.

This alleged unsophisticated way of approaching issues is far more commonplace than one may first imagine. As adults, we often succumb to the overly complicated as a rite of passage, rather than eschewing the complexity in favor of the logical solution.


Fine PrintChildren will often stop listening to the instructions, particularly the exceptions which follow. To their minds, the important matters come first. All the silly fine print designed to ward away danger could not possibly be of consequence; otherwise, why would the print be so small and appended as an afterthought to the primary text?

In our adult efforts to boil everything down to a concentrated elixir, we forego the important steps of safety and well-being. In our arrogance, we assume such provisions should be accepted without nomination.




Children will try an adult’s patience with a litany of a single word: Why? As the diminutive vessel stands waiting to be filled with knowledge, the adult realizes there is nothing at hand to impart. The irritation comes from the adult gripping the blatant fact ignorance, ineptitude or laziness led to acceptance without questioning Why? prior to this exact moment.

Adults fill such guilt-laden holes in logic and reason with brilliance: Because I said so; Because that is how it is; Because it has always been this way.


Children recognize when things have outlived their usefulness. They walk away from broken toys knowing the enjoyment is gone. Their grief is short-lived.

Adults hold onto things for sentimental reasons. Hoarded piles of items fallen into disrepair kept because a person long gone once possessed them, useless fandangle from the curios of generations before and souvenirs of a life lived by another. They will despair the loss of such things in a way the original owner would have found shameful.

Children are the same way about adult relationships. No more elation when one walks through the door. No more reaching for the person who does not come when called. No more wasting of valuable energy on the person who hasn’t the time for them.

Adults hold onto what should long since be discarded for myriad reasons, mostly the lack of desire to begin anew. With an exaggerated sense of investment, the mere longevity of the near-dead relationship makes adults cling tighter to what never should have been, even when what they have never truly was.

Try It

For one day, one hour or even a few moments, look at the conundrums through the small circles. Embrace the simplicity. Eschew the complexity. Enjoy what life offers.

Name the conundrum you would most like to ravel. How would a four-year-old solve the problem? Are you in touch with your Inner Child?

© Red Dwyer 2013
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  1. I don’t know about all this inner child stuff. I just know that I can’t be in my second childhood. I don’t even know what I want to be when I grow up. 🙂
    Most of my life I have had to accept the responsibility of adulthood but I never relenquished being a child.
    I want to ask why. I want to learn about the things I don’t know yet and I want to keep my eyes wide open with wonder and excitement as I discover new things…and yes sometimes I clap my hands and laugh when I finally understand it.
    Bo Lumpkin recently posted..He Might Be RightMy Profile

    • In truth, Bo, that is what keeps you young. Learning everyday and appreciating the discovery is a great way to keep your inner child at hand.

  2. PS.
    I also trust and care about the people I meet until they give me a reason to do otherwise.

    • I do as well. I can see good others have long forgotten they possess. But that is the next post. 😉

  3. I was captivated by John’s response: his “inner child is the one who understands intuition and knows nothing of logic.” In fact I got lost in the response and had to bring myself back to now. Something about his response just is totally in tune with my inner child!
    Another refreshing aspect of a child, the freedom to be spontaneous and speak out such things as “I love you” or “I like it when you…”.
    To balance that out, at times, my inner child says things that I then have to put on my adult hat to explain.
    But we manage to get along together quite well. And that “play” gene that Gail spoke of? That can easily or lose its luster, so we try to keep ours healthy and active!!
    Such a reflective topic, Red! Thanks!

    BuddhaKat recently posted..Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum … for FRACTALS – Yum Yum!!!My Profile

    • Very true, Janet. Inner Child needs as much exercise as any growing child does. Intuition is often Inner Child telling you what is the simple route. I think we may delve into this a bit more. There are some of the answers which seem to suggest there are still some misconceptions even after the post discussion comments. Glad to see you today. xxx

  4. I had to lock up my inner child because she is a holy terror, but she escaped and now I enjoy the fruits of her pent up mischievousness.
    Tess Kann recently posted..What is my What?My Profile

  5. I wouldn’t go back in time for love or money! The experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met make my life what it is today and I’m grateful for everything! Although, I admit that I’ve thought or said, “If I knew then what I know now…” Your “circle” perspective is awesome, as well as, your advice in the end, which I will follow…♥
    LScott recently posted..Arrive AliveMy Profile

    • I truly think every time we say “If I knew then…”, it is a sign we are growing wiser. It will help keep you young at heart, Lauren. <3 Glad to see you. xxx

  6. Joni Mitchell “The Circle Game” still transports me into the beyond.
    Carl D’Agostino recently posted..“The big Easter sale at Montels Department Store” by Carl D’AgostinoMy Profile


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