Posts Tagged ‘Wisdom’

5 Unlearned Children Wisdoms

April 6th, 2015

It constantly amazes me how much we knew as children. The raw wisdom and intuitive know-how that was innately built-in and programmed into our innocent minds, and that we unlearned by the raising along the way is fascinating. The funny part is that, as adults, we spend a fortune on self-development aimed at relearning, in agony, the same things we were forced to reformat as we grew.

What I have gathered here are the top 5 lessons that my children taught me and that are of extreme use to me today.

1 – Be Curious
This might be one of the most annoying to an average adult. On a curiosio-meter my son would hit a thousand questions per hour – and that’s before sensing any encouragement. He wants to learn about everything. He wants to learn it all and now. His tool is an endless chain of open questions par excellence. And when I think I’ve answered them all – or that I’ve ran away with an answer – I only find myself in front of another, in the moment or later, makes a little difference. The epiphany for me here is not just the amount of questions. It is the questioning of what we, adults, believe has already been established as obvious and true in our previous answers to our children. My son would re-question and re-re-question things he’s heard answers to as if he is aware that things change, that people change and that circumstances change, and that he wants to stay up to date with the most current version of that reality before settling for an outdated version of Truth.

2 – Be Persistent
This also competes with curiosity on the first position of annoyance to an average adult. This is about a child’s relentlessness in pursuing an objective. Time after time, day after day, request after request, variant and form of presentation and execution after variant and form of presentation and execution. They are clear about what they want and they are always in pursuit. We, adults, might call it nagging, while to them, it is the manifestation of a built in clarity over the ROI of success to persistence ratio. How do they get away with it? Mainly due to our incapacity of persistence that we call getting them off our backs.

3 – Always Test the Limits
This is the third competitor on the first position of annoyance to an average adult. What I am pointing at here is the rigorous trials of defying the rules. My son would look at me, listen to my voice asking gently (or not so gently at times) to respect the rule while he breaks it and smiles. And then when reprimanded, he would apologize, promise never to do it again only to launch another campaign when a new opportunity arises.

4 – Negotiate
This one is quite amusing in fact, despite the times when it reveals itself in companionship with persistence and testing the limits. The thought that comes to my mind when I think of a child’s ability to tweak reason to his/her advantage is practical creativity. Children are beautifully creative and have an amazing ability to put all that into practical formats that serve their purposes. One time, we were at a restaurant and the waiter was standing waiting for our order while my wife was trying to convince my son to have chicken instead of pasta:
Son, out of the blues and pointing at his tummy: “Mom, is this mine or yours?”
Mom: “What?”
Son: “Is this mine or yours?”
Mom: “Let’s discuss that later, what about you have some chicken?”
Son: “MOM, is my body mine or yours?”
Mom: “Yours of course, why do you ask?”
Son: “Mom, this is my body, and this is your body. I am responsible for my body and you are responsible for your body. If your body wants chicken, you can give it chicken and if my body wants pasta, I will give it pasta.”
Waiter: “I guess he has a strong point, pasta then?”

5 – Take Advantage of Arising Opportunities
All you got to do to tap into this one is watch children react to music. Anywhere, anytime. As soon as they hear music, they dance and even make dance. And when there is no music around, and it has been dull for some time, they would stand up, make you line up and dance at the sounds of their own reconstruction of the melody. Taking advantage of every happiness opportunity is another one of those skills we forgot on the way.

The above 5 are not exhaustive. They are simply a reminder to me of what I lost and try to reconstruct, and what I aught to try and preserve.

What have your children taught you?

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