What was your favorite plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now, and your favorite childhood toy?
One of my favorite toys as a child was my Curious George stuffed animal. I think I still have it somewhere. He was a constant companion of mine. He was also a very versatile playmate. He was everything from just a plain old monkey, to a soldier in great world wars, a well-worn cowboy on the open plains of the Wild West, a noted detective hunting down some wryly criminal, and many, many other things!
Now that I have kids of my own, they too enjoy the exploits of Curious George. We have a book that details his adventures at a fire station and his unexpected ride on the big, red fire truck!
You know the old saying, Curiosity killed the cat. Well, evidently that axiom does not apply to little monkeys.
The reason I probably resonated with him, as do my daughters, is there is a commonality between his curious, mischievous ways and the heart of a child. It reminds me of the John Candy movie, Uncle Buck. In the movie, Candy’s character (Buck Russell) argues with a school administrator (who thinks his young niece should be more serious about her academic career!) that children should be dreamers and silly hearts (using her words). I think Curious George embodies this innocence; this wide-eyed imagination.
Of course, as parents, we know sometimes curious girls and boys cause havoc on the mental state of said parents! And, I’m sure it has been said by many a mother or father: I hope your children act just like you do!
As far as a connection to my life now (other than my kids), I think there is still something of that childlike curiosity and awe of the world and life-experiences found in the heart of an adult. Too often we drown out that part of us. Too often we relegate it as nonsense or silliness. It probably would not be such a bad thing for adults to have a bit of merriment in their hearts.
There are so many things in life that can choke this sense of curiosity and thirst for learning. People get bad doctor’s reports, they lose their jobs, homes, savings. They lose a loved one in the prime of life. They battle depression and, as I have written in another post, the long yawn of mortality.
But, there are times, glimpses perhaps, when the youthful heart rises from the depths. And we smile and laugh. We find ourselves remembering things, good times, we thought we had forgotten. We think of people we haven’t seen in a very long time. We start singing old songs that mean something to us. And, for that moment, we remember and we are merry.
Curious George taught me not to be afraid of adventures, to be curious about the world around me, to explore and ponder. I am thankful that God made me in such way that I gravitate toward these attributes instinctively. This is where my love and thirst for learning comes.
So, if you haven’t in a while, have a bit of Curious George in you and see what mischief may come!
Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning. (William Arthur Ward)
Never lose a holy curiosity. (Albert Einstein)