There she is. Maya emerges from a crowd of six year olds, hair flowing in the wind, backpack flopping behind her, as she runs to leap into my arms. I catch her and fling her into my arms for a proud embrace. “How was your first day of kindergarten!” I want to know everything; luckily for me she wants to tell me everything. Instantly she becomes a professional reporter on every event that occurred since she left my embrace early that morning. She misses no details, she takes quick breaths to get back to the story as soon as possible. Her enthusiasm is contagious.

I buckle her into her car seat next to her three year old brother Timmy. His experience has been quite different. All he knows is that he hasn’t seen his sister all day, and that she is in school now. “I don’t like kindergarten,” says Timmy assertively. All he knows is that “Kindergarten” has taken his best playmate away from him. Maya quells his fear, “Timmy, there are all kinds of people to play with in Kindergarten, and I have a really nice teacher, I get to learn about things, and look what I made!” She holds up a painting of a bear with googlie  eyes glued on, and glitter held in place by Elmer’s glue. Although it sounded “ok” to him, he still had his reservations. “I don’t want to go to Kindergarten,” he repeated, this time with his arms folded across his chest.

Later that evening, Maya repeated the whole Kindergarten experience to her eager mother. Mommy couldn’t believe that her little baby had grown up so fast. “How did you get to be such a big girl, Maya! I remember like it was yesterday that your Daddy and I brought you home, and now look at you!” A proud grin was being suppressed by tears of sorrowful joy. Although Maya was completely unaware of her Mommy’s emotions, she was a bit curious about what her Mommy just said. “Where did you take me home from again?” She asked as any one of you surely did at her age. As we explained why Mommy was in the hospital to deliver her, a careful observer would notice a slight look of fear in Maya’s eyes as she realized that babies grow inside women, and then are pushed out their “bellybuttons” in the hospital.

“I don’t ever want to have a baby!” She blurted out, interrupting the diagram that I was drawing. As I crumpled the paper up, realizing that she really didn’t want to know more, Mommy calmly explained that no one would ever make her have a baby, but perhaps she will change her mind one day. “No way!” retorted Maya. “Uh-uh, not me!”

Experience nullifies fear. Timmy, like all of us, feared the unknown. “What is this Kindergarten thing anyway, all I know is that I don’t like it,” would be a fair way to convey his thoughts in the car that afternoon. Maya, like all of us, feared the unknown. “What is this baby thing anyway, all I know is that I don’t like it.” If they followed their fears, Timmy would never learn anything and Maya would never have a child of her own. Is this living life?

We don’t know anything until we experience it, but before we experience much of life we already have an opinion of it. The bottom line is that we don’t know much, and those who don’t know much should not judge. Experience life first! Judge later if necessary.

Modern man lives his life in fear of the unknown, and then claims to believe in a benevolent God. How real is that belief in the goodness of God if we always judge and fear the moments of life that he has created for us (to enjoy!) as though they are random events without purpose or cause. Life is either controlled by the divine or it is random. If it is random, then yes, watch out. But if there is a benevolent God, where is you trust?

“Modern man sacrifices his health in order to make money.  Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.  and then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

-Dalai Lama

Go, live, experience, enjoy, without fear! That’s all there is to do anyway!