Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Future

Yesterday, driving home with two of the children, an interesting conversation took place between them.

L: I know things about your brother.
A: How you know I have a brother?
L: The Future told me.
A: Okay, did the Future tell you how old he is?
L (after a while): Fifteen.
A: No. The future is wrong!
L: Thirteen!
A: Yes, but you were wrong first.
L: No, I was just tricking you to see if you were listening.
A: Or maybe the Future waited to give you the right answer. The Future likes to take its time.

I remembered that snippet of conversation because of the last statement. I'm not sure if she was trying to be funny or if it was just a fact, but I found it was amusingly clever and true in an unsuspecting way: the Future likes to take its time. When she said that, I immediately thought of the importance of patience and trust ... and, by extension, the ability to live in and make the most of the present.

In the eyes of a child, what is the Future? "The Future told me." Is the Future male or female or some kind of large superhero? (Like how some see God as a big face in the sky with a flowing white beard and moustache?) Is the Future like Santa, coming down from the sky bearing gifts? Is it scary? Is it friendly? Can we speak to the Future and tell it what we want or ask it questions? Why is the Future so far ahead of us? And is it really so far ahead if it's just a second away?


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