A lecturer in waiting.
Presently, we have a guest, in our house. He is a Professor, from Brazil. His primary field is Computer Science, though he writes in several other fields. His presence, in our house, unannounced as it was, has drawn some curiosity from my sons. Tiarnan, five, in particular, is most interested in our guest.
“Mummy,” he began, with a serious question in his studied gaze, “Why is that man, here?”
“He has come to give a talk, to adults.”, she explained, with well chosen words.
He absorbed this odd preoccupation of adults. Ramifications sparkled in his eyes.
“Do you want to give a talk?”, his mummy pursued.
“Yes.” He nodded, with an unexpected enthusiasm.
“What would your talk be about?”
“Why there are so many people in the world.”, he declared, seemingly certain of the answer.
“Why are there so many people in the world?”, prompted his mummy, with a gentle smile.
“It is easy.”, he asserted, with a nod to himself. “It is because it is infinite. When one person dies, another pops out….when one person dies, another pops out…”, he trailed off, the endless series left unsaid.
From his five year old vantage on the world, little Tiarnan had identified the cycle of life, and perceived its potential infinitude. Yet, he was also aware of the mortality of Man. He saw both the infinite and the finite in life. To me, that seems quite a lot for one so young to encompass.
It is interesting that he is developing an historical perspective on the world – in the sense that he is intuiting how things got the way they are. He is identifying causes in the world, of the way the world is.
Sometimes, perhaps, we forget or overlook, how much the little people in our lives, see into the depths of the world. It leads me to wonder what they understand, but never speak of. Of that, of course, I can only guess. The best that can be done, to see the world as they do, is just to listen carefully to them – and that is just what I do.
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