Lessons from Little Ones
Children truly are the smartest beings on this planet. Most of us spend our entire childhoods wishing we could grow up quicker and faster. Adulthood presumably appears to be the end of all our problems; where we become grown-up enough to make our own decisions, have more choices and become more independent.
Although all those things are true about adulthood, there is something so critical we’ve naturally developed as children and have lost along the way to becoming grown-ups. We’ve lost our ability to trust in each other, to not discriminate against one another, and mostly to simply love all others without consequence.
See. children are so vital to our society, not just because they are our key to living on for newer generations, but because they (without hesitating) choose to see the good in everyone. I am guilty of it to. Long ago when I was a child I always gave anyone I came across a chance to be loved by me without pre-judging whether they deserved it or not. As I got older I became colder, more paranoid, less open, and at times even wrote off a few people before I got the chance to really know them. Of course, circumstances have changed, I’ve experienced more, lived through my own set of tragedies, met disappointment after disappointment that has caused me to build up walls and stop trusting everyone.
And if we were truly honest with ourselves, we’d admit that all of us at one point decided to turn our backs on trust.
A few broken hearts we’ve experienced developing into adulthood and suddenly we became fearful of opening ourselves to someone. That baggage, a lot of times, clings onto our psyche and starts to affect our relationships, our health, our friendships, our community and ultimately our society. This ripple effect of our newfound attitudes caused simply by growing up, has been a way of life in anything that we do-politically, socially, economically, morally, professionally and so much more.
We’ve grown accustomed to always thinking the worst in each other. The people don’t trust a political leader, and even worse, the political leader doesn’t trust his or her people. Our relations overseas, even with our allies, has always been guarded by a wall with doubt, that without, we would never be able to protect ourselves and vice versa.
We can tell each other how much we love and trust the other all we want, but like a bad habit developed along the way we secretly have our guards up—could be a great deal of walls or could just be one—either way it is up.
Ever notice how a child is quick to say hello, or give you a smile, or without hesitation agree to be your friend when you ask them?
Ever notice the trust is given right away and somehow as we got older we decided that trust had to be earned and not given. I can’t help but think how unhealthy this notion of earning trust has become to us in life. You may not realize it but that simple belief has dictated every decision, every friendship, every relationship, and every opportunity you’ve had or have in your life.
There is a saying that children are naïve, but maybe we’ve just taught them that we are always right, and it twisted their natural kindness to each other and made it into something that should be perceived as foolish.
What if we all followed in the footsteps of our children and our own inner child? Would there be as much war or mistrust? Would we end up losing faith still? We cannot change out experiences or rewind the pain of being betrayed, heartbroken, or lost; but we can change how we react from here on out with each other.
What if we were as honest with each other as kids are? What if we trusted the other person enough to be good rather than expect the worst? My son, Nicholas, has taught me so many valuable lessons that I have forgotten because I’ve surrendered to the woes of adult-like thinking.
One day I came home complaining about a woman at work, frustrated and upset at how she was treating me, and my son just so happens to be listening to me vent about her. I kept the anger bubbled up inside until I got home and decided right then and there I’d write that woman off forever—she is not to be trusted. My son just simply said, “Talk to her.” I immediately came up with all the excuses as to why that wouldn’t work, that talking to her meant it’d bring out the worst in her. I gave her no chances at first.
But then I realized what advice my son gave is exactly what a kid would do. They would choose to give someone the benefit of the doubt, no strings attached.
The next day I trusted my son’s advice, and calmly yet politely told the woman how I felt about her attitude, and turns out she’s pregnant. She gets nauseous every morning that she is working, and I just so happen to work the shift with her. She always went home feeling awful that she seemed rude to me but didn’t know how to tell me her hormones were out of balance and couldn’t help how it affected her physically. I initially wrote off someone who wasn’t trying to be good nor bad but is just human. I initially distrusted a woman who should have been given a chance to be trusted in the first place.
Children truly are the smartest beings on this planet. I must repeat this because it’s such an underrated fact that I hope will come to light one day and cause the world to become a better place. Even just talking about this idea of taking advice from our children could spark a positive possibility, let’s converse about this education opportunity!