How To Be a Child (Again)
I have been curious about the idea of being a child again after a couple of interesting readings on child psychology and this exceptionally insightful video from TED by the surprisingly confident ‘child’(as you may call her)- Adora Svitak.
I totally agree with her. There is a lot to learn from them just by watching them be.
I am remembering my recent close interactions with children.
The child on the matatu recently who was so fascinated by my bag strap that he/she tugged on it and consequently licked it wet.
The calm toddler who lives close to my place of work
My 3 year old niece- playful, confident and expressive
My 14 year old niece- smart, empathetic and obedient
My 8 year old niece- strong, talkative and a free spirit
I have observed from them some very basic but important life lessons that any adult can pick up:
Curiosity- Children are driven by a constant curiosity to learn. My niece can ask 10 consecutive questions in a bid to understand something as simple as why you are sweeping the floor. The key to being aware is to ask questions. Children know this(and a bit too much!).
No grudges- Children lose their anger as quickly as it comes. And here I am speaking about children below the age of reason- because the age reason comes with emotional baggage. Children will cry or shout at you when you cause them dissatisfaction and love you just the same the following 5 minutes.
Imagination- Children have no limits to their imaginations. They can speak to a cushion, imagine a response and continue a completely candid conversation. Their minds have no limits as to what is possible or impossible. Then sadly, as the years go by, big bad ‘adulthood’ comes and blows it away.
Creative- Children have innate creativity cells running in their blood. Whether it is through drawings, created games, role-plays, little white lies, ingenious explanations after getting caught red-handed or their innocent solutions to problems- they are constantly tapping into their creativity. Sir Ken Robinson is categorical on how current school systems are muffling this in one of the most-watched TED talks ever. I would be lying if I said I don’t agree.
Free-spirited- Children live in their own world; A world with very few cares. Adults cannot exactly choose to be 100% care-free…but they can choose to enjoy life’s little pleasures and a bit of spontaneity from time to time. You Only Live Once, right?
Expressive and open- Children find it really hard to hide thoughts and feelings from the adults around them. In keeping secrets- they will either do a lousy job feigning normalcy or spill the beans unknowingly in expression. Adults can always see right through them.
Optimistic- Children are naturally optimistic in their outlook on life. They are still unscathed by negativity- unless their parents infuse this on them. They always see a positive way out of even the worst situations. And they almost always choose to see the best in people.
So, go on, be a child!