The Lessons We Underappreciate from Children
Elevate - The Honor Society Magazine
The Lessons We Underappreciate from Children
No, don't be offended by that. I'm not calling you a child (though we all have our moments). Just let me explain.
Do you remember when we were kids? How care-free life was? How all we wanted to do was exactly what we had on our mind in that moment, and we would kick and scream until we got to do whatever that was? Playing outside, coloring, building with legos, eating all the candy on Halloween, playing dress up, making some cookies in an easy bake oven!? Unless of course your parents whooped your behind for throwing the fit....mine didn't. (Explains a lot, I know).
Do you remember how bold we used to be?
I remember when I was staying at my Nana's house after it had a huge and heavy snow in Cle Elum, WA. My mom and stepdad were there, as were my Nana and Papa who was still alive at the time. However, being an only child, I never had anyone to play with. I was by myself most of the time. Yet on that day I knew there was a kid down the street who was playing in the snow (his mom outside supervising). This kid had been digging a rather large passageway through a pile of snow that a snowplow had created. I wanted to join him. So I asked my mother and then headed on over to play. I DIDN'T KNOW THESE PEOPLE. I DIDN'T CARE. I WANTED TO PLAY. So I did.
Here's the difference.
For us as adults, our own way of kicking and screaming for what we want is instead being persistent in our goals and relentlessly chasing after what we want regardless of what the world tells us.
You see kids aren't so worried about judgment. The majority don't suffer from social anxiety like the rest of us. They know what they want, they go after it, and they will make everyone in the world their friend along the way and also invite them along for the ride.
Kids also have to tendency to be able to dream big - and will often believe anything you tell them. Of course, as we age we no longer tend to believe in Santa Claus, or unicorns, or that babies come from the stork (though I'm sure Santa is real, "Stop believin', stop receivin'?"....Maybe that's what that Journey song was all about...). But when we were younger we wanted to believe it - so it was true. Granted, in older age wanting to believe something even if we know it isn't (or other people would like to think it isn't) can prove to show you are arrogant and moronic... Yet as kids we seem to be completely unaware of what others think. Actually, children up to about the age of 6 years lack something called "theory of mind", meaning they simply can't put themselves in another persons shoes - so to speak. Therefore, they don't care what others think! I do think our ability as adults to be both socially and culturally competent is both awesome and necessary - but do we often let that hold us back because we are worried about being shot down or offending someone? Well I say screw them, I believe in Santa Claus. BECUASE I CAN.
It's also important to note, that kid's believe they can become anything. ANYTHING. Until "reality" hits us, and we need to get "real jobs" and work for good companies in which we have 401K, a steady salary, and holiday banquets for the employees and family of the employees. Sure, these things are nice, and some people truly appreciate these things - there is nothing wrong with that. But if you're letting society tell you that this is your standard of success and having anything else is different is wrong, weird, or you are going to fail because of it....then we have a problem. When did you decide to let people take away your ability to believe you could do anything and could be whatever you wanted? I wanted to be Spiderman when I was growing up, and also Batman, and truthfully I swayed back and forth between the two. Even though those weren't realistic, I still have a Spiderman outfit at age 21. I still have a Batman outfit. Why? Not because I'm a child, but because I try not to let the world dictate whether I can A) have fun or not, and B) DREAM BIG. I also wanted to be an architectural engineer, a mechanic, a firefighter, a police officer, president, a teacher (because we would have recess all the time), and a football coach. The point here is, you can be whatever you want to be, and it's not too late unless you decide it is.
Kid's try things without fear of failure, too. Part of this is because they are learning how to perceive, sense, and respond to the world around them - they are learning things work. If they have an idea to build a tower out of your furniture and pillows and whatever else they can find, they do it, even though the structure of the design probably isn't safe and will fall. THEY DON'T CARE. They want to find out for themselves. Failure is a part of the process of learning. And I tell you what, I bet you a kid eventually finds a way to accomplish what they wanted to no matter how many times they have to try.
Lastly, do you remember when you were a kid, and you wanted to know something, and wouldn't shut up until you knew? "WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY". This doesn't make sense to me and it isn't important until it directly affects what I want to do or accomplish - is essentially what we are thinking. Does this sound familiar? I still think this way. Selective hearing? Selective listening? Nah! Circle of Influence!!! Kids only let affect them what is necessary. They only let things in their circle of influence that are important enough to have their attention. And if they want to determine if something is worth that, or want to know something, they're going to ask why! However, it is important to remember that sometimes we won't know why, and that's okay. Sometimes that's where life's adventures lie. Children will still do something even if they don't know all of the why's or what will happen, so don't let the unknowns scare you away (just carefully consider them).
If you ever get a chance, think about these things the next time you are around a child. Like them or not, the lessons children can teach us are almost endless.
Here is my advice to you all for this week.
It's okay to look at life like a kid. It's okay to dream big. It's okay to ask why. It's okay to go after what you want.
As long as you make everyone your friend along the way, and invite them along for the ride, too.
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