I Am Smart. I Am Blessed. I Can Do Anything.
There is a video that is making the rounds on the internet that has already amassed millions of views on various social media platforms and news websites... and it's not political, scandalous, racy or filled with outrage.
It's a three year old little boy from New York named Ayaan, who, while on his on way to preschool, motivates himself with a unique and beautiful affirmation.
On the video you can hear Ayaan say over and over again, "I am smart. I am blessed. I can do anything."
Check it out in the player below. If you can't see the video playing in the player, there is a link below that to a website where you can watch it.
Come on! How unbelievably sweet is that? And man did that hit me in the feels when I saw it, how about you? Hey, I'm not crying--you're crying!
And how much do you want to hug the boy's mom who is filming the video? Her name is Alissa, and she is the one who taught him that phrase, and made sure that he had it committed to memory.
When videos like this go viral, I always wonder why exactly. I believe that there's something about that video that touches us at a very deep level--deeper than we'd like to admit.
It's cute, to be fair. But the reason it makes our hearts a bit warmer, and our eyes a bit misty is because we know something that little boy doesn't.
We know that the innocence and simple belief tend to fade. We know that all the positive statements you can memorize won't save you from heartache and disappointment.
To quote one of my favorite modern poets, William Corgan:
The world is a vampire, sent to drainSecret destroyers, hold you up to the flamesAnd what do I get, for my pain?Betrayed desires, and a piece of the gameYou see, we also know that little boy... that little boy was us once. And then the world took its toll, and our belief that we were smart, blessed and capable of anything faded away.
In chapter 18 of Matthew's Gospel in the New Testament, Jesus' disciples ask him a scandalous question:
“Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”Jesus called a little child forward and placed the child in the middle of them, and then said:
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."If we want to be the kinds of people who are aware of God's presence in the world... bearers of light and hope... witnesses to resurrection... the embodiment of the kingdom of God... then we have to become like a child.
We need a childlike faith, free from jaded cynicism and world-weariness. We need to embrace the simple and beautiful truth about who we are to God... smart, blessed and able to do anything.
May this be so for you today and everyday. May you discover anew just how incredible and powerful you are when you let the Spirit of God renew and restore you to "childhood."
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.