Wisdom from a child

We had been home from our year long trip around the world for almost a year when I was asked to speak to a local mom’s group about our experiences.  In preparation for the talk, they sent a list of questions that people were curious about, and one of the questions happened to be something I had never considered: “What had each of my children thought was the most important thing they took with them on our trip?”

Carrying everything we had for the year.

We had traveled with one carry-on and one small backpack each so I too was interested in what my children would consider the most important thing they carried.

However, I felt pretty sure I knew what Molly, my then 12-year-old, would answer.  You see, Molly had a blankie that had accompanied us on our trip around the world.  “Lello,” as we lovingly call her, was once a plush, yellow fleece that, by the time she made the trip, had been loved by into a tattered, gray piece of material.  I was sure Molly would say “Lello.”  After all, it had served as her security blanket for many years by then. 

But I was wrong. 

When asked the question, “What was the most important thing you took with you on the trip?” Molly answered, “It was the same for all of us. It was our attitude.” 

Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 

The ability to choose our own attitudes is truly one of our greatest gifts and most profound freedoms.  One Molly recognized early in life.