Come As A Child

Posted in: Current Events,Spirituality by bill-o on February 20, 2010

The famous American author of the book The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, died on January 27 at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire, USA. Despite the resounding success that he had found as a young author in New York, Mr. Salinger withdrew into seclusion in his adopted Connecticut River valley town about 55 years ago after negative experiences with an overeager public.

A recent New York Times article about Salinger’s life in Cornish notes how bossy strangers would ride into town demanding to see Salinger. The people of Cornish would always oblige their reclusive neighbor by sending these strangers in the wrong direction.

What the article points out is that Salinger was not entirely reclusive. He was generous to food servers at church suppers and friendly to his neighbors. One neighbor told the Times how Salinger always graciously allowed his children to sled down the hill in Salinger’s property and was concerned about the children’s welfare.

What example can we take from this story? Well, it’s simple: On our spiritual journeys, come as a child. J.D. Salinger rightly saw the children in his neighborhood as no threat to him, his family, or his privacy. Rude adults came from other places to disturb his peace and quiet just so that they could say, with pride, that they had met him. The nearby children didn’t care about any of that. They only saw Mr. Salinger as a kind neighbor and not as an object to be manhandled. Perhaps this is a lesson for us all in how we treat our neighbors.

Post tags: