Once upon a time, in a world where it was important to find your way, there lived a boy named Liam who was always getting lost. If his parents took him to the park, he would get lost trying to find a slide. If they took him to a friend’s house to play games, he would get lost trying to find his friend. In fact, Liam got lost so much, and his parents were annoyed at having to find him so often, that they had simply stopped taking him anywhere at all.
This did not, however, prevent Liam from getting lost.
Even though he was inside his house for most of the week, Liam still found creative and imaginative ways to get lost. He would sometimes not be able to find the exit out of the bathroom, for example, and end up sleeping in the bathtub. If he took a sandwich from the fridge, he would get lost on the way back to the dining table and have to sit on the kitchen floor to enjoy his meal. After lunch, his parents would then have to help him find his way back to his bedroom, where he would promptly get lost again.
Every time his parents found Liam, they would ask him if he knew where he was and Liam’s response was always the same: Silence. Liam never panicked or called out for help because he wasn’t even aware that he was lost. He had never known any different, so there was nothing to be afraid of. The real question was: Where did Liam go when he got lost?
Only Liam could answer this question and, since he didn’t know he was lost, he didn’t know that there was somewhere else that he was meant to be. Very occasionally, however, someone around Liam would say where they were going and Liam would get excited and want to join them. He would walk in the direction he thought he should head but, sure enough, he would get lost along the way and someone would have to guide him back to where he had already been.
One day, a doctor came to visit Liam at his house to see if he could stop Liam from getting lost all of the time. The doctor had thought it strange that he was asked to help Liam, but, he was a good doctor so he visited anyway. When he arrived, he was shown into Liam’s bedroom and could see Liam sitting on the edge of his bed. The doctor knelt down beside Liam and checked his throat, examined his eyes, looked in his ears and listened to his heartbeat.
The doctor explained that in order for Liam to stop being lost, his parents should stop looking for him. He went on to explain that in order for someone to be lost, they must not know where they are or someone must want to find them. Since Liam didn’t mind where he was, and if no one wanted to find him, then he could not be lost. The doctor instructed the parents to immediately stop looking for Liam and, since they had tried everything else, they eagerly followed the doctor’s orders.
From then on, whenever they took Liam somewhere, they stopped to remind themselves and others not to try and find him and remembered that, this way, Liam could never get lost again.