What it Means to Be Young at Heart. Re-Discovering My Imagination.

What it Means to Be Young at Heart. Re-Discovering My Imagination.

Kids love the mundane. They love repetition. They love simplicity. Why doesn't it last?

I know four kids. Let’s call them Sally, Molly, Matthew and Katie. When they go to the beach, they don’t see shells. They see a galaxy of clattering stars hanging from driftwood. They see dinner plates, tea pots and sugar bowls.

When they encounter a forest of bamboo, which they tell me they did recently, what they saw was an army of soldiers and a parade of fairy princesses.

In many ways, their imagination reflects Yahweh, the God of the Jews you encounter in the first book of the bible - Genesis.

There you meet a God who takes the unformed world and flings stars into space. Whose imagination runs wild and free a He imagines - and brings into being - plants, people, snow, beatles that can sing and cats who purr.

And all of this makes me think: what is it that makes these kids so vivid in their imagination? What is it that makes them so alive to their surrounds? I notice that these kids don’t watch television, and, having considered the research, I think that counts.

What we put into our minds counts. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say.  Young Minds are formed quickly and tend to absorb and soak up everything around them. They delight an exploration.

Television robs us of so much of the imagination's capacity for free thought. Children also delight in the mundane.

As Chesterton writes in his book Orthodoxy (1908),

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.”

This sounds like the kids I spoke with above. And it also speaks of me. Somewhere along the line, wheat Grown Ups lose the capacity for spontaneity and the ability to exalt in monotony.

We consider monotony on a par with monogamy.  We think that the real satisfaction lives out there in the great unknown. We have lost the capacity to exalt and rejoice in the mundane.  and because of this, we grow restless.  We become agitated, anxious, depressed and irritable.

How can we remedy this?

Some people might say that this doesn't need a remedy.  some people will say that we ought not tolerate the mundane and the monotonous. But I beg to differ.

I love what I see in the freedom of these little children as they turned in sticks of bamboo into colourful dolls and brave soldiers.  I love the tea party is made entirely out of  beautiful shells.

I want to be there for that tea party. I want to see the bamboo at war and I want to see the princess saved and the dragon slain.

So I know what I want, but I'm not yet too sure on how to remedy the dullness that has come over me in my adult life.

I think I should start with reading some Classic Children's literature. A. A Milne and Winnie-the-Pooh would probably be a good place to start. Wind in the Willows would not be a bad place to go either.

beyond that I think I have to simply start spending more time with my children..  I think there's a reason why the elderly get such a thrill when they see young children.  there is something vital, and rejuvenating about young children who still have an imagination.

Whatever steps I need to take to rediscover my own imagination, I am prepared to take. If I only to be closer to those who in this world seem to have the most life.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels CC0 License

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The NBA Lottery: One More Step Toward The League

The 2018-2019 NBA prospects are priming for a takeover.

Last Tuesday night (May 15, 2018), The Phoenix Suns won the NBA Draft Lottery 2018 which took place at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. On Thursday, June 21 the Suns will be picking first in the NBA Draft 2018 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The NBA Draft Lottery Order Top 10

(Including Who I feel the Current Best Player on the Team)

  • Phoenix Suns – Current Best Player: Devin Booker
  • Sacramento Kings – Current Best Player: Dea’aron Fox
  • Atlanta Hawks – Current Best Player: Dennis Schroder
  • Memphis Grizzlies – Current Best Player: Mike Conley
  • Dallas Mavericks – Current Best Player: Dennis Smith Jr.
  • Orlando Magic – Current Best Player: Aaron Gordon
  • Chicago Bulls – Current Best Player: Denzel Valentine
  • Cleveland Cavaliers – Current Best Player: Lebron James? (If he stays on the team after this summer)
  • New York Knicks – Current Best Player: Kristaps Porzingis
  • Philadelphia 76ers – Current Best Player: Joel Embiid

Top 10 Prospects according to CBS Sports

  • Deandre Ayton: Center
  • Marvin Bagley III: Power Forward
  • Luka Doncic: Shooting/Point Guard
  • Mohamed Bamba: Power Forward
  • Jaren Jackson Jr.: Power Forward
  • Michael Porter Jr.: Small Forward
  • Trae Young: Point Guard
  • Collin Sexton: Point Guard
  • Wendell Carter Jr.: Power Forward
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Point Guard

The Next 3 After

  • Kevin Knox: Small Forward
  • Mikal Bridges: Small Forward
  • Miles Bridges: Small Forward

My Top 10 Prospects

  1. Deandre Ayton
  2. Marvin Bagley III
  3. Mohamed Bamba
  4. Luka Doncic
  5. Michael Porter Jr.
  6. Jaren Jackson Jr.
  7. Wendell Carter Jr.
  8. Collin Sexton
  9. Kevin Knox
  10. Mikal Bridges

Unfortunately, Oklahoma sensation Trae Young was left out of my top 10 despite leading the NCAA in scoring and assists. Trae Young has two deficiencies plaguing him as he heads into the NBA. The first is his shot selection. At Oklahoma, Trae was the defacto best player on the team as well as the point guard and therefore was both the primary shot taker and decision maker with the ball being in his hands the most. With this on his shoulders, he forced a lot of contested shots and layups that typically ended up getting blocked into the student section. He definitely is a marksman but, when his shot isn't falling there's not much more than he can give you. The second is his defense. With his small stature and dedication to the offensive end, he typically takes plays off and saves himself for the other end of the floor. He might be a great scorer, but when playing guards like Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Steph Curry it's not going to be easy to just get into a shootout and come out the victor. I also left out Shai Gilgeous-Alexander mainly because I feel that Collin Sexton is the best college guard in the draft. Despite the league moving towards tall guards like International prospect Luka Doncic or Point Forwards like Michael Porter Jr., Collin Sexton is my only exception to that. Collin and Luka, in my opinion, are the only top 10 caliber guards in this draft because of their ability to put the ball in the hole and their activity on defense like no other guard in the draft class.

Three Hot Takes for the Draft

  • The Top 10 picks will be completely dominated by the frontcourt. All the point guards besides Luka Doncic will fall out of the top 10. With the rise of the point forward, players like Lebron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and most recently Ben Simmons have revolutionized the 6’8,6’9 and 6’10 guys bringing the ball up the court and initiating the offense. With that being said, players like Kevin Knox, Mikal Bridges, and Michael Porter Jr. will be asked to do a lot more than just get buckets considering the high caliber guards that terrorize both the Eastern and Western Conferences. And Luka Doncic, who is projected as a shooting guard in the NBA at 6’8, 228 lbs, will be utilized as a primary ball handler that will be able to easily translate to the NBA’s adaptation of the high pick and roll action against smaller guards on whatever team he lands on (maybe the Hawks at #3?)

  • Michael Porter Jr. will slip to the Bulls. To be honest this more of a “cross your fingers and pray” kind of take of mine as a Bulls fan. Michael only had 30 total points, 20 total rebounds and more assists than turnovers (1 assist to 3 turnovers) in only two games played the entire year. Despite this, he still has the athleticism and the ball skill fundamentals to be a top 10 pick, but of course, with the lack of game tape on the collegiate level, he is going to drop down from the top 5 projection that scouts gave him when he entered Missouri.

  • David Fizdale and the Knicks would look absolutely crazy if they don’t go for grit and bucket getters by drafting either Collin Sexton or Mikal Bridges (honestly more so Bridges because they just drafted a point guard last year). This year Mikal averaged a career high in point per game with 17.7 along with 5.3 rebounds and almost 2 assists. Mikal also was consistently putting the ball in the hole by shooting 85% from the free throw line, 51% from the floor and 44% from three so he definitely would give the Knicks another lengthy scorer to go alongside Kristaps Porzingis.

Honestly, this could be one of the best draft classes in a while. The season may not be over, but the upcoming prospects definitely make it hard to keep eyes solely on the playoffs. Guess we just have to stay tuned until June 21st.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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