Late this evening I strolled into the mirrored daylight of a Super Walmart. Somewhere among the endless rows of stuff settled in a frozen corner of the place was the chicken I needed. While I walked to grab the chicken I reminisced; I thought back to when I was a kid running around K-Mart. K-Mart was a store filled with endless aisles of mystery to explore every time I went. This Super Walmart was easily eight times larger than our good old K-Mart back home. I wonder if kids explore it with the same wonder and curiosity that I explored that ancient decrepit K-Mart.
I wonder how many kids are lost in a Super Walmart right now. I still remember the day I got lost in my K-Mart; I had to walk up to a stranger and ask them where my mommy was. Now Walmart’s are so massive you never have to see anyone. A kid could walk for hours before he even finds a stranger to ask, “where is my mommy?”
Sometimes I think about what it would be like to experience life again through the eyes of a small child. I wonder if it’s really any different from when I was a kid. It’s probably not that different. Kids are kids. I’m sure a thousand years ago there was a market somewhere where a young mother was trading her sheepskin fleece for some food, and her little boy got lost.
Maybe he got distracted by all of the wonderful things that he could ask his mom for. Maybe she’d have a little money to buy him a top carved of wood, or some marbles, or some other thing kids back then played with. I mean they had toys, right? Maybe they just banged rocks together for fun. Kids nowadays bang rocks together for fun too, I’ve seen it.
That little boy would have to find a stranger to help him find his mommy too. Thank God for all those strangers, reuniting little kids with their mommy’s every day.
Maybe kids in the next hundred years won’t have this problem. Maybe they won’t have to walk into a Walmart because all of their groceries are delivered to them by drones. Kids won’t ever need to be helped by strangers again. I mean, it’s probably safer that way anyways, right? That’s what life is: The pursuit of safety.
Those kids will bang rocks together too.
There’s something amazing about the lens that kids see the world through. It’s all a first experience for them. For a kid, Walmart isn’t just a store, it’s an adventure. Life is a game to them. They don’t have to deal with the responsibilities of adulthood. Or the emotions and heartbreaks of growing up.
They just have firsts and adventures.
I think that’s something we need to learn from kids. Don’t lose that little part of yourself that wants to go out and have an adventure. Go get lost. Go have a new experience. Go bang rocks together.
Keep that childlike part of you.
It’s in there somewhere.