The elevator was quite crowded.I squeezed into the closed space, turned a bit and my weary eyes met the most adorable, shining eyes of a little girl tucked cozily in the corner. She bubbled with aliveness, proudly and exuberantly declaring when asked where she was going,"I'm in pre-school!"I cheerfully complimented her on the colorful beads around her neck, adding a word of connection to her older brother who was engrossed in a POKEMAN book. Behind me were two teenagers, a handsome boy and a pretty girl. I proclaimed how lucky I was to be surrounded by such beautiful people.
The door opened and as I stepped out an adult man smilingly commented-"What office are you running for?"
I was somewhat taken aback. While appreciating the humor in the remark I felt a sadness at the note of cynicism that lurked beneath the joking response.
Are we so distrusting that any kind and complimentary word is immediately suspect? What has happened to our ability to accept the sincerity of another person and enjoy it? Why must we impose our defensiveness on the openness and natural good will of another well meaning individual?
While I recognize the need for caution, why has it deteriorated into cynicism?
Perhaps we all need a good dose of child-like gratefulness that I encountered in the sparkling eyes of that beautiful little girl in the elevator.
I have little worry that we will lose our grasp on things; we will lose, thankfully, some of our sadness and fear.