Live Like You Mean It: “Failure to Thrive” Can Be An Adult Problem Too

By Derek Maul

This past weekend my five-month old grandson, David, came to town for a three-day visit. My wife Rebekah recently travelled to Connecticut for some baby time and now it’s my turn. David has been eating up the extra attention.

Not that he was exactly starved for stimulation before. Fact is, our grandson is thriving in every sense of the word. It’s abundantly obvious that our daughter, Naomi, has taken to this “Mommy” stuff with both passion and commitment. Rebekah says she’s a natural at it and I couldn’t be happier.

David’s pretty happy too. Unless, that is, somebody dares to be a few moments late with whatever meal he’s looking forward to.

What’s most exciting to me – via the constant stream of photographs, video-clips and Skype sessions – has been taking note of the daily changes that come along as our grandson learns and grows. His entire life is a series of new experiences and a growing awareness of his environment and how he can reach out and grow.

It’s made me wonder about exactly how and when someone’s curiosity taps out. 

It’s the saddest thing to see people turn off the valve, close the curtains, lock learning in the garden shed and roll down the shutters.

I am sadly convinced that most of us function and learn well below capacity. And I believe this “Life-Charged Life” I write about is more possible when we keep our curiosity stoked and our learning active.

When I see my grandson, David, I’m reminded about how foundational curiosity and exploration is to growth. But too many of us miss out on so much as adults simply because we remove ourselves from a learning environment.

Studies on health and human development apply the term “failure to thrive” to neglected infants who seem to “give up” and become listless… But failure to thrive is not just a danger for infants, you know.

In the name of the Great Teacher and the Author of Creativity….You can reach Derek Maul at  derekmaul@gmail.com.