I remember watching my children, when they were little, put a lot of time and energy into building something only to break it down and build it again. Over and over. As grateful as I was for the time they kept themselves entertained, I was also a bit puzzled that they would invest so much time creating a building, and then turn around and knock it down with a plastic dinosaur or a GI Joe’s airplane. It never occurred to me at the time that they were simply training for real life adventures.
Although as adults we create situations with real people, and we have no easy access to dinosaurs or airplanes, the majority of our adult life is spent in creating events, dramas, and relationships that regularly blow up – not too differently than the Lego bunkers my children so painstakingly built. So, it is fair to ask in a moment of drama-free sanity: Why do we go through the cycles of creation and destruction?
No, we are not trying to recapture the child within, and we are also not losing our minds. The answer is much simpler, and yet, way more profound: Through those cycles we learn who we are; we learn who other people are; most of all, we learn that even when everything crumbles around us we are still able to pick up the pieces and build anew. And this time – since we learned where the weak spots were in the past – we can build a sturdier structure that will last through time; one I would challenge any dinosaur to destroy.