The Way I Look at It

Life is a big playground. You feel very small when you look around you, but you still think it’s all a great adventure. There will be bullies who will try to punch you or trip you on your way to the sandbox. You may end up with cuts and bruises, or come out unscathed. Either way, they will always be jerks and you will always have survived.

There’s a minimum height requirement to minimize injury when you fall, so don’t worry. Everyone will (most of the time) come out of the playground alive. There is security to monitor child activity—moms, dads, older brothers and sisters, babysitters. They keep a watch on you but they trust you enough to keep their distance and let you play. The best part is when you look at them and you see their smile of encouragement. But despite the splendor of it all, it’s never only fun and games.

For instance, the sandbox is a pit for discovery and imagination. The thought of creating something with your own hands, save from a few basic tools—it’s amazing, no matter how temporary your creation is. It’s even more fun when you have friends to help you make something. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by supportive and nurturing people.

So, the sandbox is good, but try to avoid the swing set. It may give you a certain kind of exhilaration. But the truth is, you don’t really get anywhere. You just keep going up and down. And the higher you get, the higher the risk is of falling. The seesaw, however, is an excellent choice. It gives you two perspectives: what if feels like when feel like you’re on top of the world, and when you have your feet flat on the ground. Plus, it lets you appreciate your friends when they are at the top.

The monkey bars teach you a very important lesson—to hold on for dear life when it matters, and let go when you’re too tired and you’re already at the end. It teaches you common sense: why hold on when you can already let go? Why let go when you’re in the middle of the ride and you know you can make it to the end?

Riding the merry-go-round is a bittersweet experience, but it’s my favorite. You’re moving and staying where you are at the same time. You go on in (what feels like) an infinite ride and you see everything and everyone else in the playground pass you by. And you realize how fast life goes by, how it feels like you are running out of time and how it kind of makes you sad, what with the poignant music playing along and the dancing lights in the merry-go-round.

But you feel relieved when the three minutes is over and you get off the ride. Everything is still more or less the same, and there weren’t big changes that happened while you were gone having the ride of your life. The alarm from your earlier realization fades a little bit and reaffirms you that you still have more time that you knew you had. And somehow, that’s enough to make you feel okay.

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