When I was 3 or 4 years old, I lived in the house of a man who had muscular dystrophy. His name was Eric.
I have lots of memories from this time in my life I remembered liking with my brother to buy cigarettes from the corner store, how him and his friends who were older treated me like I was the little kid and they had to hang out with me. And I also remember when one of them would put me on the back seat of the bike and take me for a ride.
But One memory that sticks out more than the others is the time I got scolded. I think I broke Eric’s wheelchair. He had asked me to stop playing with a lever but it was so much fun. And I loved playing in it. Whatever happened, I was caught. Eric, said, “did you do this?” And in tears I said, “yes!” With what I can only imagine was the safest face a boy could make.
Whatever I did had upset him and he asked, “why did you do it?” And with all the language a 4 year old had I let the words come out of my blubbering lips, tears rooming down my face, “because…”
While the rest of the memory may not be clear, what he said next was crystal clear, “Because is not an answer!”
Now fast forward a year or so, and that little kid Josh had moved across the country, my mother had remarried and I was going to have a new dad.
I was a curious little kid and full of energy. I talked to animals, understood my little brothers babbling, and could spend hours playing and exploring the new world around me.
One day I was about to do something, or maybe I already had, what I remember coming out of this new guy in my life was his words, “Don’t do that?”
And with the curiously dona hold and a genuine interest in what he was saying I asked, “why?”
And that’s when he said, “because.”
And something told me didn’t know that “because” is not an answer. And something else must have told me that it wasn’t my job to show him.
I’ve thought about those two experiences many times in my life. And wondered how two adults could both have different answers. I didn’t trust them. They obviously weren’t smart, and they weren’t giving me the information I needed. And I set out to find it on my own. And I did.
It was then that I fell in love with Truth. It’s then I learned to question more, to explore more, to figure things out, to not accept just one answer.
Now it all didn’t happen at 5 years old. But the seed had been planted I my heart, to search for the answers of life, and never settle for, “just because.”
It’s probably why I never just accepted the normal life. I haven’t enjoyed just being with “the way it’s always been.” I get no enjoyment out of “you just have to accept it.”
It’s probably why I think your dumb if you tell me, “I think too much.” But I only started thinking, when adults stopped taking to me
And while that has given me an amazing life I’ve also felt a distance in life. Because a little kid looks to adults for the answers. You’ve been here longer, and I just showed up on the planet. Here was so much I’ve missed out on. And I need you to show me the way.
I’m so glad that at that same time I started Kindergarten. I remember my teacher. She was so pretty. I had my own crayons, a cubby to keep my things in, and she helped me to create things through coloring and then tell stories about them.
I remember around that time that one day I jumped off the bus and I brought to school my first story book. I was so excited to show her and I wanted her to read to me. I ran off the bus and she was waiting for me. Like she did every day. I ran up and like a five year old does I got excited and asked, “will you please read it to me?!?!?!”
Her face changed, and she bent down to me and whispered, “I can’t. I have laryngitis and can’t talk to much.”
I said, “ok.” Bowed my head and started to walk to class. It was then she put her hand on my shoulder and said, “come here.”
And we found a place and she read the first couple of pages to me in a whisper. And then she said, “you know my favorite thing to do is to read a book in a bubble bath.”
Well I don’t know if I could read but I sure as hell was going to try that when I got home. And I did.
It’s then that I developed a new love, the love for a teacher. I have had many since then. Many who have taken the time to stop what they are doing, to listen, explain, discover, share, play, and even let me cry on their shoulder.
And now I wonder if other children have the same experience when an adult doesn’t take the time to be with them. I wonder if all does work out in the end. I wonder what would have happened if that teacher hadn’t stopped me that morning. I wonder what would have happened if I didn’t find an adult to listen.
Well, now it’s my job to be that adult, and there are so many children around who are asking, “why?” And I found how I will answer them.
“I don’t know. Let’s find out.”
How will you respond to the children in your life. It just might be your job to be the greatest teacher in their life. Will you take the time? And if you won’t please give them a better reason than, “because.”
“Shri Guru Charanam Shri Hari Sharanam”
Last night in some sacred space
I took refuge in the guru and in the teachings of the dharma
There weren’t any incense,
No bells, nor monks in robes
I didn’t travel to the majestic temples, Or some hill to find a beautiful soul sitting with his blanket.
No the journey was much deeper and farther into the depths of being.
I found the guru, hidden in my heart
It is he that had been calling, he that had been leading, he that had been teaching, he that had been learning.
As I surrendered my mind, my will, my very being over to the guru, I found I was with him all along
And that I was only taking refuge in my heart.
I only surrendered to love. And love consumed me.
Welcome to 42something: Answers to the questions of Life, the Universe, and Everything, this is Joshua Rex. Hope you enjoy this space. As I was driving home from a personal development course I got the idea for a show. Didn’t have time to pull over, so I turned the microphone on, and hit record. My goal was to speak for 42 minutes, about issues surrounding spirituality, and in the first episode, how i got on the quest i was on. Here is a copy of that. Can’t wait to see hat comes of it.