As I went walking today, I was struck by the sound of loud laughter, muffled giggles, tiny feet thumping as they ran on cold pavements and chitter chatter that perhaps only tiny tots can talk and understand.
I saw a tiny boy, no older than 5, rolling around in a pile of sand, and his friends helping him go deeper and deeper, ensuring not one speck of him was left free of sand. My first reaction was disgust. How could children be allowed to play in dirt till 9 at night. Is no one cared about their health, sleep, education, etc. etc.
A little closer look and I realized, the parents themselves, construction workers at the same site, were too tired to take notice and were sleeping deep in the shadows of the night. The children, of course, couldn’t be happier. They had their perfect playground – tons of sand, bricks to make trains and flyovers, street lights to provide shadows and hiding spots and parents at safe distance, yet not too far.
The disgust quickly changed to a sense of awe. How simple and happy their life was! They didn’t need much to keep them excited about life. And I am sure they had big dreams of buying fancy toys and riding in aeroplanes, sparkling in their little eyes.
In that instant, I realized, that my daughter whom I had provided everything for, would never enjoy this unbridled joy. She would never know these dreams, because I had granted them before she could even dream them. In trying to give her happiness, I had actually robbed her of the happiness – Happiness which she would have found on her own, if I would have just let her.