Thursday, July 20, 2006

The wisdom of children

A few weeks ago, I served at a booth at the Concert on the Green in our town. We were giving away free lemonade and candy, so we were mobbed by kids.

A seven-year-old boy and his older sister approached. She had, "Girls Rule" on her T-shirt, so my booth co-worker commented on it and then turned to her brother to ask what he thought. "Do girls really rule?" he asked.

The boy took one look at his sister's outfit, then shot back at us, "Never listen to shirts."

Appreciative laughter from the grownups! I told him I was writing that down, and he solemnly watched me to make sure I got it right. (Then we went off on a riff about "never trust a bunny" from Hoodwinked—a fun movie for rental if you haven't seen it.)

What is it about kids that makes them so clear and to the point? Contrary to the belief that they're often naïve or uninformed, some of the kids I know are more savvy than most adults. So I find myself less wanting to shelter them and more wanting to learn from them. I like to hear what they have to say, because their very freshness can bring a startling realization my more jaded eyes would miss.

I often think of kids when I read this passage from Science and Health: "Man is God's reflection, needing no cultivation, but ever beautiful and complete." We start out complete. Once created, fully formed. What God initiates, He completes.

So these kids right in front of us are complete now. They need nothing added to them. They have all that God gave them. And they have something we lack, due to their short span of time on this earth. They have a fresh perspective.

It's almost as though we know too much. I know I'm guilty of this. I investigate, prod, devour and assimilate a lot of information about the material universe in my curiosity and thirst for knowledge. A lot if it will most likely have to be unlearned as materiality dissolves for me and I achieve a higher spiritual resonance.

So I love talking with kids because they bring me right back to what's important. They understand love and hurt feelings, fair play and naughtiness. They know how to settle conflict with a moment of sharing and how to comfort tears with a hug.

I know you all have "words of wisdom from kids" stories, please share them here! How have the children in your life taught you?

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 7/20/2006 08:20:00 AM, Anonymous Dennis R said...

My dad passed away 4 years ago. At the time my granddaughter asked me why everyone was so sad. I said my daddy went to heaven. She said if he went to heaven, why are you sad?

At 7/20/2006 04:41:00 PM, Blogger Laura said...

this came in through email:

Years ago, my mother was trying to run errands with my little sister in tow. It was Pittsburgh in the spring, which means it was raining, gray and cold. My mother muttered something like, "I hate this weather." My little sister looked surprised, and said, "It's just a different kind of a nice day, Mom!"

At 7/20/2006 05:30:00 PM, Anonymous Rev. Veronika said...

Sometimes the naughtiness of a child can bring a lesson too. Here is an example:
Screaming. It was my two year old granddaughter who didn’t want to go to bed. The screaming continued. I sat on the sofa, trying to read. Then I got it! She suffered from being wilful, that is self-willed. Her mother knew it was good for her after a long day to now have a sleep. The child screamed. It wanted to have more of the pleasures the day had offered. It suffered. It was self inflicted.
Then I thought of how often I have suffered in my life. Had I been wilful too? Not listening to the still small Voice of conscience or the Holy Spirit? For God never sends suffering. He is wisdom, mercy, justice which are all aspects of the Love He is.
The small child had been my teacher. I shall remember this lesson and watch out whenever I am tempted to be wilful. I really prefer wisdom to be my Guide from now on.


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