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Why & How to Stay Childish

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Finding out that an adult knew some truth I thought only kids knew There is a certain magic within the minds of the children. Many people take for granted the things children say about world. I used to laugh at everything kids used to ask and say to me, but then I met someone who made me rethink everything. I met this wonderful adult in my senior year in high school, he is a seventy years old man, and he was my history teacher. His name is Robert Andrews. He said something to me one day that touched my heart and touched my perspective in kids. I told someone in class that day that they should grow up, because they were being too childish. My teacher called me to go outside and sat me down so we could talk. He said to me that I should never tell anyone to grow up. We should stay childish. I then asked him what he meant, and he said to me, “Kids have happy souls, they are innocent by heart, they know how to enjoy even the simplest of things, and how to turn the simplest thing into a game. They are selfish, but they don’t have hidden agendas. They often want to help, share what they have, get involved, lift you up, entertain you.

In fact they radiate and inspire love, brotherhood, and smiles.” Why can we as adults not do the same? That got me thinking, and we talked more and more about it in the days that came. One day I decided to ask a few of my friends what they believe children possess that we lose as adults, some of the answers were: “The ability to find magic in the most simple of things,” “Reckless curiosity,” “ability to be happy even when everyone around them is sad.” What do we lose in the transition from childhood to adulthood? It’s easy to see that transition as a positive one, and one that needs to happen. The ways of childhood must be replaced, as quickly and efficiently as possible, so we can become adults. That’s only accurate, however, if we see children as miniature, imperfect adults. If we see them as great little beings of another kind, almost like alien visitors with their own troves of wisdom and ways of perceiving the world, our task as adults become very different.

There is a great quote by a brilliant author in which he says: “There is a wisdom in children, a kind of knowing, a kind of believing, that we, as adults, do not have.” -A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. Most adults in which I showed that quote to, read it and think that it just means that children are happy souls who don’t know about the real world and we as adults are conscious and we lose a little bit of that happiness that children have all the time. I then tell them to read it over again, “a kind of knowing, a kind of believing.” That then keeps them thinking. What if children are the ones who believe that there is way more to this world, there is a certain magic within it, something we as adults stop believing in because society breaks those thoughts down completely as we grow up.

Some of the things my teacher and I spoke about were, things we as adults forgot during our transition into adulthood, things we probably should never have left behind. Such as the goodness in kids, they tend to be selfish sometimes, but they don’t have any hidden agendas. Most of them often want to help with anything they can, they like to get involved in different activities, they often try to lift you up when they see that you are down, and they love entertaining. Most kids radiate and inspire love, and smiles. We also talked about the independent way of thinking in kids. They don’t care about what other people think of them, they live their lives to the full, and are not shy to be who they are and do what they want in the moment, such as randomly starting to dance in the middle of the supermarket. Kids also tend to take risks, we as adults sometimes overthink situations too much to the point that we end up not doing many things we would like to do. That makes us lazy, kills initiative and scores of good ideas. In modern society such behavior is largely related to seeking approval.

Kids in general, might not be the most productive or focused, but they are more creative than us adults, hands down. If you don’t feel peer pressure, don’t care about rules/conventions and are willing to take risks as a skilled adult, you become capable of great innovations. A very important topic we talked about that day, was how for kids there is no person too tall or too old, too weird, too ugly, no minimum requirements of coolness and most important, for them skin color is simply just a color.

As we grow up, society starts putting buriers and starts creating different groups according to money, power, skin color, etc. This makes us as adults decide who we hang out with, and who we are friends with. Even if we don’t admit that we care that the other person is different, there will always be a natural burier. Kids don’t need a favorable situation or introduction to be able to socialize, if they want to speak to someone, they will go up to them, say they name and simply socialize. If we put together all those things that teacher taught me, you will simply unveil the secret of good fun and happiness. What that teacher taught me, was not exactly something I believed only kids thought, but something I believed we should grow up from. I always thought kids were ‘stupid’ little things who didn’t know what they were doing, or thinking, or saying for that matter. But now I believe that they have a sort of magic within their minds, a magic we should never lose, and one we should never ‘grow up’ from.

So grow up, but don’t grow up with society. Rather grow up with your own beliefs and thoughts, and dreams. Be more like a kid. Kids know better.

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