A couple days ago I was walking along a street in Old Town Alexandria and came across a mom with her young daughter. The mom appeared stressed and the young daughter was patiently waiting for her mom to finish paying for a car space with a meter. The daughter was most likely four or five years old. Behind them was a homeless man who was sitting up with his blanket against an office building. He wasn't asking for money and was minding his own business. He didn't seem happy, but he didn't seem sad either. The little girl that was with her mom turned around and waved at the homeless man, and the homeless man smiled and waved back. Seeing the exchange between the two brought me a sense of happiness and warmth of love within my heart.
Growing up we all go through different experiences that form and shape who we are, who we trust, what we're passionate about, and who we love. This is normal, and this is simply life. With this though, comes a change of heart. As we get older we become more fearful and less open. We lose relationships, and with that we lose trust and love towards others. We grow out of that innocent version of ourselves that we used to be when we were younger. We lose that beautiful imagination we used to hold so dearly as kids, and with that we lose a little bit of love each time. We experience more sadness, anger, and frustration with situations, or people as we get older. We lose that innocence that we weren't exposed to as kids; we are now exposed to the hatred and tragedies of the world that really change us and make us grow in a different way.
I miss that innocence; that innocence where it really didn't matter who you were playing with at five years old because color, sex, religion, etc. didn't matter. And it still doesn't matter. Age is not an excuse to love less. We should be growing from the love we held during our youth, but in my eyes I just see everyone going backwards. When we were kids, anyone was welcomed and invited in to play with us. We didn't care because we weren't judgmental. So today I only wish that the whole world would run the way that our youthful loving minds used to.
So going back to that day I was walking in Old Town Alexandria and witnessed that small act of love and kindness made by that one little girl only gave me an energy to be more like her. To be loving to everyone even when you don't want to. To show respect and kindness to everyone despite the differences you made hold. We all have a beating heart, and we all have blood running through our veins. We are all people, and we are all the same. All we need is love.