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To an infant, it is a caring adult that provides for its needs and shapes every aspect of its fledgling young life. But a growing child soon learns that they have, within themselves, the power to directly affect and change their own lives.
Further discoveries quickly follow. We learn that other people, people not in our close family circle, strangers even, can also influence us as we grow. Difficult lessons now have to be learnt - there are some events that we can't control, things that we cannot hope to influence; Friends you thought you'd know for the rest of your life move on. Old people die.
There is one other unexpected discovery that awaits a growing youngster at some point in their childhood. When it eventually happens, it doesn't sound right and it doesn't make sense. In fact, we spend the rest of our adult lives trying to figure it out. It's just not fair - we're not old enough and we have not been given the time to prepare for it. Our whole perception of life is cruelly turned upside down and we are ill-equipped to handle it. We return to our beds at the end of that day realizing that our very souls have been changed by events that took place well beyond our own backyard. We know, we know even at that young age, that we are not the same person who woke that morning, and we will never be the same again.
When you're told that someone has died, someone who you didn't regard as an "old person," when you realize that someone your own age can suddenly cease to exist, from that point onwards one's outlook on the world is viewed from a new and very different perspective. And a piece of ones' own self dies quietly too. On that day, an innocent part of our own childhood is forever lost.