Paulo Coelho once said that “A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.” but I say that a child can teach an adult many other things…
Ever heard the phrase "it’s great to be young", or better still some adults say "what I would give to be a child again?" If only kids knew this, they wouldn't be in hurry to become adults, and if as adults we knew this, we would close our eyes and ask the fairy godmother to wish adulthood away.
We are adults now, and it's a bit late in the day to wish we were kids again, but there's always something we can do to incorporate a little bit of childhood into our present lives. We can learn some of their positive habits. Kids are a like breath of fresh air. With their infectious giggles they can do the funniest things, drive you up the wall to the point of insanity, and yet give you the warmest cuddle.
I may not be an expert in understanding personalities, but I have been on planet earth for a while and I know adults can learn a thing or two from the way kids embrace life. Being a child is fun and a great place to be. Instead of kids "Growing Up", most adults need to "Grow Down."
The fact is that each human being is born with the skills we need to live a successful and happy life. Kids are all born with innate traits that enable them to survive and thrive. Unfortunately, they learn from the adults in their lives to go against those instinctual traits. Instead, they learn the BS (Belief System) from the adults in their lives that shape their personality and outlook. They “Grow up.” Maybe the better option is that the adults “Grow Down.”
Here are few valuable lessons that we, adults should learn from kids. What I will share with you today is a list of 15 things I personally believe a child can teach an adult. Enjoy
1. Learn to laugh a lot: Laughter they say is the best medicine. It lights up the face and spreads warmth wherever and whomever it touches. Kids laugh a lot especially when they are happy. Adulthood makes us serious because life can be tough and if you are not serious you will lose your focus and direction. Once in a while though, stop in your tracks, look at your life, analyse the good and the bad and let out a healthy laugh. Someone has beautifully said, “You don't stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”
2. Play more: Kids love to play and would play all day and all week if they had the chance. Playing rejuvenates them and gives them a passion for life. Find time to engage in your favourite hobbies or recreational activities. Taking time off pressing issues to engage in fun filled activities is a good way to help you recharge your batteries. Life can't be all about work. After all what is it they say about all work and no play?
3. Cry when it hurts: Kids are quick to cry when they get hurt, don't understand why things are not going their way or when they have been told off. Don't be afraid to shed tears when it hurts. Remember Aamir Khan shedding copious amount of tears when overwhelmed in episodes of Satyamev Jayate. Joy in life doesn't come without pain. There are times when things don't go your way and you feel frustrated to the point of tears. I have shed tears because of my frustrations. Such is life. There are challenges that will rip you apart and make you want to cry so badly. I say CRY. It doesn't make you less human, less of a man or less of an adult. Don't hold
tears back, allow them to flow. Crying is like a healing balm for the soul. It helps release the burden of worries, frustrations and anger. They help make your shoulders feel lighter.
4. Be fearless in your quest for your desires: Don't let your life be ruled with the disappointments and frustrations of 'what ifs' and 'had I known'. Don't let stumbling blocks hinder you from taking on the plunge to do something you ordinarily wouldn't. Fear is disruptive; it causes retrogression and not progress. It eats into our confidence and stops us from pursuing what we desire. A child's natural sense of adventure makes them ready and willing to take on a challenge without hesitating too much. Let's be kids in our quest to conquer and overcome our fears.
5. Don't be judgemental: Kids do not judge a book by its cover. They do not discern between race, religion, colour or gender. Kids are accepting and pure in their perception of humanity. They do not think ill of people. This is actually a good quality that we can adopt from kids. Adults are quick to judge because of our own insecurities and ignorance. Learning to be more accepting of people in general is a good way to overcome a lot of barriers plaguing our society today.
6. Learn to let go: Kids do not bear a grudge for long. They get upset when they are told off, however they soon forget about the past and move on to the future with a cheerful heart. Adults are quick to bear a grudge and do not let go easily. We harbour ill feelings about individuals who have hurt us and are not ready to forgive. Harbouring ill feelings does not create a cheerful heart or a mind free of negative thoughts.
7. Try to live a worry free life: Easily said than done. Being an adult comes with a lot of responsibility. The ability to survive in the "human jungle" is paramount to our day to day activities. Making ends meet, putting food on the table, paying the bills, avoiding the wrath of the tax man, avoiding redundancy, escaping repossession of your home. All these factors which appear to have become a reality in the current economic climate make "a life free of worry", a concept easy to imagine, but almost impossible to put into practise. Kids do not have a care in the world. Their lives are free from worry. They live for the day and not worry about tomorrow. Let's take a leaf out of their book and live for today with the belief that "tomorrow will take care of itself".
8. Be Persistent: Kids NEVER quit. They keep working towards whatever they want. I’ll bet you can’t name one kid who gave up trying to walk. Even those born with physical limitations or deformities still figure out a way to get from one place to another – even if it is not what most would consider walking in the traditional sense. How many times a day do you see people give up? How many times is that person YOU?
9. Decision Making. To a kid, something either “is” or it “is not.’ They love what they love and they hate what they hate. The stuff in between – they just don’t care. How much time and energy do you spend on “stuff” that really doesn’t matter?
10. Curiosity. Who? What? Why? Where? When? These are probably the five most commonly used words by kids. They are constantly asking questions. Their growing brains require information to fuel thought and further growth. How many adults do you know who “know” everything? When a person loses curiosity, the horizons of their world become the walls of their box.
11. Have Fun: How many times have you had to tell your kids to quiet down because they are having too much fun? Kids are passionate about having fun. They love to play. The most effective educators and parents find ways to make learning fun because we all learn better when
we are in that peak emotional state. So, why not be in that state as often as possible? Why not be there on purpose?
12. Splash in Puddles. What do kids do when they encounter a puddle on the sidewalk after a rain? They step in it. They kick it. They might even roll around in it if you let them. What do adults do? They walk around the puddle or try to jump over it. While trying to avoid the puddle, they either worry about what might happen or moan about the puddle being there in the first place. So yes, literally splash in puddles. Better yet, STOMP in puddles. Enjoy how good it feels.
13. Finish what you start: The naturally inquisitive nature of kids encourages them to start a task or a challenge and see it to the end. Completion gives them a sense of achievement and fulfilment. It’s understandable that living in a competitive world creates the need to explore different avenues to help us succeed in our quest to "make it". Whilst it’s good to broaden your horizon, it’s also good to exhaust the areas where your abilities have a better chance of standing out. For instance if you are good with sales, explore and perfect your skills in this area so that you can have a greater chance of being appreciated and recognised for your efforts. Do not quit polishing your skill without finding out what you can attain once you have reached the peak of your area of expertise.
14. Love yourself: Kids do not look in the mirror and frown at what they see. They are unscathed by the imperfections that the mirror leads us to believe we have. Kids do not care about spots or lines. Kids make silly faces at their reflections and are more likely to giggle than frown at what they see, because they are unaffected by their "flaws". They love looking at themselves. How many times have we looked at ourselves, accepted ourselves the way we are & being contented? Remember, you can’t love anyone selflessly, until you love yourselves.
15. Don't worry that your age is going up: Kids actually look forward to their next birthdays. I find it refreshing and totally welcoming. When I was in primary school, we frequently played a game of riddles. One of the riddles which featured regularly was "what goes up and never goes down?" Of course the answer is Age. It’s a fact of life we cannot escape from. Once we are born we grow up and not down, except in the case of the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button where the character's age goes down and not up! Kids look forward to being teenagers & can't wait to be adults. Kids do not fret and worry about how old they are growing.
At this juncture, I get reminded of these beautiful words, “Do not deprive me of my age. I have earned it.”
There are things I miss about being a child; I wish the time hadn’t gone so fast, though. And sometimes I wish I’d enjoyed it more on the way, and worried about it less.”
I am sure you would agree with me too.