I came upon this photo some months ago and was immediately struck by the composition and the expression of joy and gratitude on the boy's face. Unfortunately I don't know where I found it, and cannot give it proper credit.
But the image makes an impression and suggests deeper questions about needs, wants, and happiness. It puts into perspective our particularly self-driven society and how we have been teaching the younger generations about what's important in our lives.
There are, perhaps, many stories embedded in this image. And many lessons, as well.
UPDATE April 18, 2012: Almost as a postscript to this short commentary, I read the following article from Consumer Reports on "kid friendly" cars. Not that it isn't important, mind you, but still....
Here's an excerpt from the article that ties in with my thoughts on what we emphasize with our children:
Remember life in the back seat when you were a kid? There wasn’t much to do on long trips beyond counting Volkswagens or punching your sister in the arm. Nowadays, if your budget and propensity to spoil your kids allows, you can provide pint-size passengers with a virtual theater on wheels. But first, think about the basics that will be used every day.
Stockburger advises that you look for cup holders in the backseat, especially those that can accommodate a juice box, and storage areas such as pockets in the seats, which can keep plenty of toys and books within easy reach while also keeping those items from becoming dangerous projectiles in the event of a crash.
Such features, in part, are what sold Melissa Larrey and Tracy Bouton of Falmouth, Mass., on their 2010 Toyota Sienna. As the parents of 10-year-old and eight-year-old boys, they totally appreciate the Sienna’s “seemingly everywhere” cup holders.
“It’s great that the kids can reach things and get to their own stuff,” Larrey said. “It makes such a difference.”
Cup holders. Lots of them. Teach your children well. And be proud!
proud parent of "______"
strapped to a Town & Country seat
ignore running movies on car ceilings,
instead fixate on smart phones and texts,
their mindless stomachs demanding their
next meal that no one has prepared with
any thought, no labor of love factored
into its presentation.
what will be the joy and true happiness
these ingrates-in-waiting seek as they
claw their way from one distraction to
another, as they flash-mob their lives in
malls and store aisles, as they grow to
protest what they have not earned and
demand justice from Blackberry prompts,
as they cackle over who has what, and
how unjust it is that they don't?
who will teach them where life begins
and how frivolous pride of this, that,
and the other is?
if they were left to the wilderness of necessity,
how many would smile with
joy in their eyes and
humility in their hearts,
and realize even
Poem © 2012 R. Burnett Baker