Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Running With Scissors
By nature, parents are protective of their children. We don't want them to be hurt by a person or circumstance, or to get hurt by sharp things, things that fall or doors that slam.
In my travels, I have seen small children using tools that my parents would never have allowed me to touch. In Oaxaca, Mexico, a little boy was pounding away at a piece of wood with a knife that was larger than his head. His father, who carves exquisitely shaped animals out of wood, looked on with pride. In Bali I met little Wayan, pictured here, while he chopped shallots with his uncle. That sickle was awfully sharp! To borrow a phrase from my mom, he "sure as shootin'" cut his finger in the process.
His mother kissed the wound and I could see that, although there was some blood, he wasn't seriously hurt. He kept his attention on the camera as I documented his tears while mom looked on, unfazed by the accident. All in a day's work for the Balinese who work hard in the field just to get by. We saw a lot of villagers while we were there and I never saw someone without a digit.
Perhaps it's not a good idea to run with scissors, but I am up for taking risks now and then. Especially emotional risks and risks that challenge how I think, even what I think. If we don't push ourselves outside our comfort zone, how can we learn? If we shed a few tears in the process, then we're doing it right.