sign in a tutoring service window that says "LET YOUR CHILD AMAZE YOU"

Good enough, Day 3: My friend, the bamboo

I saw this sign today on my morning walk. I’ve passed it dozens of times without even taking it in, and a few without stopping, even though I had.

But today I stopped and really saw it. First, I admit, because I was annoyed (yet another piece of crap badvertising leveraging essential human truths for commerce), but then because it genuinely interested me: What if we really did this? What if we walked around, allowing ourselves to be amazed by children, everywhere we went? Not because they had done something special, but because they can’t not see everything as special.

Later in the day, on a very different walk, I saw my neighbor’s little girl looking at bamboo. Not special bamboo, because there is no such thing. This was just random bamboo someone stuck in the ground and let grow, because it’s a weed, it will grow anywhere. And this little girl was looking at it not only like she had never seen bamboo like this before, but like she had never seen anything before. There was just her, and the world’s most interesting thing, which happened to be a completely ordinary, absolutely fascinating stalk of bamboo.

Her father said they were spending the afternoon walking around, meeting the plants in the neighborhood. And I thought, Of course you are. You’re meeting them, and I don’t think I’ve even seen half of them yet.

So you see, that really is some bullshit tagline: it doesn’t even have to be your child for it to work.



The skinny on, plus all previous 21-Day Salutes™.


  1. Your comment: “that really is some bullshit tagline: it doesn’t even have to be your child for it to work” wasn’t clear enuf for me. I guess you mean, it could read “Let ‘a’ child amaze you” but was waiting for how you really felt about it all and was confused for a while there. Just saying, maybe I get confused easily! but could’ve been clearer. The overall message is positive so why not word it more positively? :O)

    1. I probably could have been clearer, but spelling out my feelings kept pushing the piece into the land of Bitter and Angry, which is a place I don’t care to live anymore.

      To answer your question, yes, I was referring to the a/your distinction as being silly. But that was just a pile-on joke. Mostly, I was referring back to my original assertion that to use such a line at all as a piece of advertising for a product/service designed to coax your idea of amazing out of something that inherently is that way is irresponsible, at best, and evil, at worst. (And having been one and grown up amongst them, I don’t think ad people are evil, just cut off, for the most part.)

      So how I feel about it all is that: (a) real, unvarnished, unpackaged, unmarketed life is AMAZING; and (b), connecting to it requires nothing more (but nothing less) than your surrender to the truth of the moment.

    1. He’s a delight, as is his wife, her mother. I am fortunate beyond belief to be surrounded by amazing neighbors!

  2. Here’s a variation on the theme ~ “Let Yourself be Amazed Today” (Yup, like Lisa said ^^^)
    Seems the operative word, for us “Adults” (scare quotes intentional), is LET, eh?

  3. This post brought tears to my eyes. I can identify with the little girl looking at the bamboo. There are days I am stopped in my tracks by the way a plant grows up the side of a wall, the taste of a blackberry fresh off the vine, or the sound of maple leaves in the wind. What a great Dad for introducing the plants to her and Thanks to you for acknowledging the amazing child in us all.

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