Innocent, untouched, warm, human, uncorrupted, devout, kind, charming…. the people I am meeting in Myanmar. I find myself smiling constantly and feeling grateful to be experiencing a culture so rich, and I pray for the hands of our modern world to go easy in their inevitable plans of tourist invasions and homogenization.
Innocence is an essence that always rises in our contemplation of the truth of small children. The word ‘innocence’ is usually defined by and associated with lack of guilt or simplicity due to the absence of worldly knowledge and sophistication. But while looking at a child, is that really what makes them radiate innocence? Or is it perhaps their connection to that which is clean pure and in itself innocent. Could it be that one day as they grow older they are forced to disconnect and replace that innocence with more worldly qualities like trickery and games that can attach themselves to guilt and what is defined as sophistication? And I wonder if it not natural to keep this innocence that makes them closer to what a human is meant to be like…
We live our lives in chapters and at some point each chapter has to end…
One of the hardest things to do after being charmed by people and after the sharing of a small part of life with them, is the separation. On the trip to Egypt, I had to say good bye so many times to so many beautiful people, it felt like leaving a small piece of me after each departure. It was always the children who left the most remarkable effect on me with their innocence, their playfulness and their natural way of being. Now that I have a child of my own, I feel so blessed to be able to laugh every day, to enjoy the simple things, to view the world through a veil of uncorrupted innocence as children do when I am in her company.
Children are our most precious responsibility, and they deserve out best effort to protect them and help them develop into the leaders of the future. I wonder how good of a job we are doing.
Lebanese people are known to travel the world, perhaps having something to do with their Phoenician ancestry. But as with any other country, there are the few who are left behind to guard the innocence. I mean the kind of innocence that is so endearing it borders and utter kindness.
This is the kind of old man who would ask you where you are coming from assuming from you camera that you must be a tourist, otherwise why would you want to photograph a stupid vegetable stall. And then you answer, something like Shanghai, and he then goes on to ask you if you know so and so who is married to so and so, whose friend travelled to China, and did you happen to meet them there? It is so lovely to meet people like this, where simplicity is a joy, and life is uncomplicated, basic, uncluttered with too much information.
Eyes like these are much more easily brought to glow of wonder.