This post was first published on http://www.madratgames.com – 23rd March, 2016
At the end of one of our workshops, participants were exchanging addresses, clicking the pictures. A girl came with a slam-book and wanted her friends to fill it up. The slam-book had a statement, “I love you because …” While filling the slam-book, one of the participants commented, “Hey! This question is wrong. I am leaving it. There can be no ‘because’ after ‘I love you”.
I learnt a valuable lesson from that kid. There are plenty of such precious lessons that we learn from children.
1. Curiosity: A parent had shared a wonderful experience with me. Her son was five years old and he saw a rainbow for the first time. He asked many questions like “where does it come from?”, “where does it sleep at night?”, etc. He was super excited to discover a colorful companion of sky. Next morning her driver was taking the car out of the portico. Some petrol had leaked from the car. As the sun shone brightly, a colorful prism like structure danced in the tiny pool of spilled petrol. As soon as her son saw it, he yelled, “Mummy, Get the first aid box. The rainbow is injured. It has fallen from the sky here.” When she rushed out, he was closely inspecting the colorful pool of petrol. We learn this curiosity and spontaneous application of learning from children. For them, everything begins with a “why” or “how” or “when”. When the elders start everything with “Don’t” or “No” or “Don’t you know even this,” the hows and whys die their own death.
2. Enthusiasm: Children find everything fresh and new because of a sense of awe and wonder. They are excited to open a new bar of soap. They are excited to hit a cricket ball. They are excited to play the same games, meet the same friends, watch the same ads and share the same jokes. They have a countdown ready all the time. They can make any moment special. If you observe your best photographs and most memorable videos, they would not belong to big occasions, but to such impromptu, laid-back times made special by those twinkling eyes, smiling faces and tapping feet.
3. The Power of NOW: I see people of my age always crying over past and worrying about the future. Kids live in the present, unbound by the memories of past and unshackled by worries about the future. Children have hourly targets and daily goals which might change within minutes. Still, they are the most important tasks till they last. There is no stress or anxiety if they are left to figure it out on their own. Can we stop oscillating between past and future, brooding and imagining stuff? Can we immerse ourselves in the NOW?
4. Let Go: I remember a chirpy, ever smiling participant who said, “My parents try real hard, but I cannot remain unhappy for more than two minutes.” Children move on swiftly, forgetting and hence forgiving, on the way. We, being protective and wary, try to remind them of mishaps to avoid trouble in future. Let us not sit on our failures & painful memories. Let us not ruminate like cows. Let us let go and move on.
5. Being natural: Kids are transparent. They will always say what they see or feel. They neither fabricate nor manipulate as they only know the truth. They are what they are – spontaneous, creative and intense. Can we try to stay a little natural, a little in touch with our inner core and not lose it all in the name of competition and make – believe?
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