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Eric Kinkels - Soap Box editorials


Celebrate the kid in you

By; Eric Kinkel

Eric Kinkel  4 yo

The sum of our total happiness often lies in the innocence we felt as a child.

We search for those very things in our “adult” years. An eternal anguish, which never ends.

Whether your childhood was happy or not so, we all have some recollection of innocence which allowed us to feel impervious to death. You thought quite clearly: nothing can happen to me, I'm going to live forever.

As all humans strive for that elusive intangible called happiness, we lose sight of the kid in us. A natural curiosity for all things is often the only thing left from our child hood. It drives people to insane height’s of over indulgence, excess of success’s, which in turn leads a straight path to unhappiness, ill health and a self imposed ill fate.

As a good houseplant needs to grow and be nourished, so to must the roots of our past. Look back, find those days, weeks, months, years, and rekindle the spirit of those moments where you found joy and happiness in your childhood.

I recall much of my child hood traversing creeks and cornfields with my wrist rocket and BB gun in hand. I explored with an insatiable desire to be a part of the rumble I felt beneath my feet.

I recall my friends and I taking long treks on our bikes until we landed somewhere we did not know. I recall the bonds of our friendship like blood brothers on a mission. We were kids who didn’t have any worries in the world, except being home in time for dinner.

I recall our neighbors freezing over their back yard in the winter to make an ice rink for the kids in the neighborhood to skate. In summer, the same neighbor would roll out the pool so we could swim to our hearts content. I recall my child hood street as a lively, yet quiet suburban street in the sixties and seventies.

Long hot summer nights with the old blade fans roaring through out the house, my friends and I would hum through the back of the fan’s to make a “weird” sound while our parents told us to knock it off. I recall macaroni and cheese dinners and ice cream nights in the basement. I vividly recall all the music, which sang to my soul and provided me a backdrop for numerous memories such as family camping trips to Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, Arkansas, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Washington DC, Indiana and many a trip to Wisconsin. Each of these lively escapades resonates in me like a tuning fork of happiness. In those very years my father and I traversed the many lakes of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Canada, to fish for every kind of specie one could imagine. I learned about the unique disciplines and common sense responsibilities and ideals behind the great outdoors, from my father. I am extremely grateful to my Dad for passing along his love of sportsmanship to me!

Joy filled Christmas's engaging with family during the holidays....and lets not forget about the food. It was everywhere! Having grown up  with a large German family heritage, food was sure to fill the air, it came with the territory.

Though my experiences as a kid may differ from yours, I can assure you the the kid in me is strong and still in tact!.

My fascination of all things was, and still is, intoxicating. When I was a kid, I would channel my energies into that which I felt uninhibited.

As adults we fail to realize these very perceptions for what they are…FUN! There is much to blame in what we know as the ‘business’ world. An idea of humans being paid while coming together (as old as playing games when you were a kid) to do a job? Another feat of child’s play. In the process we are so wound up in this human failure to “succeed” (yes, I said failure) that happiness becomes an outdated or an overworked idea on an arduous holiday.

Work place solutions are a good start. By building togetherness among co-workers we are celebrating the kid in ourselves. Adult solutions only serve to deepen the wounds and hardships of life, especially in the work place. Many large companies are embracing such policies and finding a greater overall morale and productivity. In turn helping the employee's bring home much more than just a paycheck replaced by an over all spirited-changed behavior, like that of Ebenezer Scrooge. Likening all things once thought to bring unhappiness to believing your own happiness can change those around you.

It is these very policies I look for when investing my hard earned dollars in stocks. If a company provides such meaningful morale and overall acceptance of individual liberties then their future is brighter than those who do not, or those who continue to disregard open mindedness.

In order for the human race to continue to prevail we must find a way to embrace the creative uninhibited mind with out chastising it for not staying within the box (work, office scenarios). As trite as it may sound the old axiom “working outside the box” is as true as ever if we are to continue to carry on and upgrade our existence.

Some seek to immortalize themselves vicariously when they have children, living their lost child hood through their children. Simply put, it is wrong! Society will ferret them out. Though all the wrong things continue to happen with parenting in our evolution, it remains important to remember these type of parents are a lunatic fringe existing amongst a minority.

The earth churns endlessly with people doing important things, abandoning the kid in us at every turn. With out abandoning discipline and responsibility, it is possible to resurrect the ‘kid’ with in you. It will say to those around you; 'I am going to celebrate the kid in me no matter what'. Here is where I encourage maturity verses child like behavior. There is a difference between celebrating the ’kid’ in you and being foolish. Remember that celebrating the ’kid’ in you has a purpose. A purpose to which you will find a greater sense of being by embracing such free spirit and not insolent behavior. Instead, I encourage uninhibited behavior.

A free mind is a valuable mind. A free-spirited mind has a child within. Celebrate the kid in you everyday for the rest of your life!


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