What We can Learn from Children

There is a lot we can learn from children. To name a few things: children don’t mind who they play with, as you as they can play. Children don’t mind what team they are in, as long as they are in a team. Children don’t mind about letting their imagination run free. They don’t even think about it. Children aren’t judgmental regarding others’ dreams; it’s okay if you want to become an astronaut or a rock star. Children are true artists; they have a direct connection between their creative minds and their bodily powers (read: “muscularly finger powers”). Children just go for it; they want to complete their collection of Pokémon cards (or FarmVille animals or whatever it is kids are doing these days). They don’t care – or even think about – the difficulties in “obtaining that goal”. They just wait and see where their ambitions will lead them.

Where did it all go wrong? Where did we get so caught up in our socially conditioned dogma’s? Why is it that we all want to get “a job by which we can make a decent living”? Why are we prepared to put our dreams aside in order for “normal lives” to interfere? Life is a game; and although children might not “consciously” realize this, they act according to this principle. They “understand” that the game of Monopoly and life are intertwined; that you can have pogs (“flippo’s”, for the Dutch readers) and that you can lose them at any time. They understand that you have to take risks (read: bet your pogs) in order to make progress. But we don’t. We don’t want to bet our pogs because we are afraid that we might lose them. We might lose the pearls of our efforts, the sweat of our creations, by taking a bet; by risking what’s at stake. But how can you ever make progress if you are afraid to lose what’s at stake?

I would like to ask you to watch an episode of Sesame Street. To look at Big Bird (“Pino”, for the Dutch readers) and try to feel his or her (I don’t know what Big Bird is) sense of naivety; its sense of not thinking about anything, and just doing what comes up in its big feather-like head. Big Bird always lives “in the now”; he’s a damn good hippy. And when you’re done watching Sesame Street, go watch an episode of Pokémon (or whatever series you people in the USA looked at while you were a child). Not only will you get overwhelmed by feelings of nostalgia; you will also come one step closer to the truth: the truth of “Gotta Catch ‘em All”; a motto that isn’t just applicable to the Pokémon world.

And oh, to the people in North-Korea: if you are reading this (which – for some reason – I doubt), why don’t you try to be a littler nicer to everyone else? I mean: Cookie Monster is also angry sometimes – at Elmo or Kermit or whoever stole his cookies – but he isn’t threatening to use nuclear weapons or so. He just comes up with “good” arguments in favor of why his cookies are his cookies; and not someone else’s.

The moral of this story is: although children can be a pain in the ass in transatlantic flights, when they just can’t seem to stop kicking the back of your seat, they are damn much closer to “the truth” than we are.

But what do you think?

Written by Rob Graumans

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