June 15, 2009

Through My Son’s Eyes ~ via Nathan DeMontigny.

A nightly ritual for my family is to read the children a story before bedtime. It helps them develop a love for reading: my 13 year old daughter Xena can tear through a couple hundred pages in just a few days. But that’s not why I am sharing the story with you.

Alex, my 5 year old son, and I have been enjoying some poems by Shel Silverstein over the past few nights. While flipping through “Where The Sidewalk Ends” we read a poem called “No Difference.” It goes like this…

Small as a peanut,
Big as a giant,
We’re all the same size
When we turn off the light.

Rich as a sultan,
Poor as a mite,
We’re all worth the same
When we turn off the light.

Red, black or orange,
Yellow or white,
We all look the same
When we turn off the light.

So maybe the way
To make everything right
Is for God to just reach out
And turn off the light!

We’ve all heard the phrase “we are all the same” countless times, even moreso depending on our political and spiritual backgrounds. As a practicing Buddhist, I’ve heard it enough so that it almost has that “cliche” feel to it every-time I hear it.

But something felt a little bit different with this poem. It felt “real,” and I could see that “realness” in my son’s eyes. Maybe I have been beaten with the phrase so often that it never clicked, but seeing the realization that we really are all the same, in my son’s expression, taught me a lot that night.

It’s said that a child’s mind isn’t as judgmental as an adults. They don’t really see rich or poor, white or black, big or small, they just see people. If I could only see the world through his eyes, maybe, just maybe my eyes could see with real clarity.

Nate DeMontigny is a father, a son, a husband, a brother and a friend to all. He is editor of the blog, Precious Metal, which combines his love for heavy metal and his experiences on the Buddha’s path.


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