Build & Customize Your Castle.

If you're in the mood to self-reflect, watch a group of children.

While observing a group of pre-k girls playing with blocks last week, I decided to jump in on the action. I asked the students to build a castle. The result was a disorganized collection of blocks all meshed together in some sort of royal tragedy that I would never choose to live in. The walls were nonexistent. The floors were jagged and uneven. The door was blocked. There were no windows. I started to help the girls fix the castle but I had to realize its beauty despite the fact its lack of function.

The unusual construction of the girls' castle is a metaphor for my own life in two ways:

One, I've never taken the standard approach to anything. In doing that, I sometimes teeter the line between functional and unproductive. In watching the girls carefully piece together their castle, I've realized that while it may be a beautiful thing to create my own path, I must make sure that my rhymes have reason. I, and you, should be sure that no matter how unconventional our approach, the roads we pave lead a higher plain. Everything (not really everything) we do should make us better, stronger, more well-rounded, more intelligent or more monetarily blessed *wink*.

Two, I learned about material expectations. As we get older, we get signals from our peers, from television, and life in general about the stuff we should want to collect. We're sent subliminal messages about how these things should look (ie. the white picket-fenced house). The block castle was a metaphor for my empire, or entire collection of stuff. Their castle looked nothing like a castle, but they were proud of what they built. I am still in the process of gaining this characteristic, but I am learning to be proud of the things that I've obtained thus far.

So build your castle with care, using your own methods, and feel blessed with the result.

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