Why we must be like (Grand)Children

If you know me, you know I’m not married nor do I have kids. So where have I gotten my knowledge about Children from?

I’ll explain that…

  1. I’m a Grandchild who is overdose on love and attention. While writing this piece I pictured and examined my behavior whilst around my Grandparents… Smh, the results were mind numbing
  2. Both my parents are first children and with that comes natural responsibility — an African reality; the role of Grandparents to their nieces and nephews… Ikr

Growing up, this afforded me the opportunity to be in the presence of A LOT of — annoying — children, and one common behavior of these children has inspired this essay.

So on with it then.

“Children know why they are here.”

When children. get to a location they don’t sit around waiting for social cues to commence activities, they just get on with Life.

When Children want to watch a TV show, they demand, cry and wait for it till the station is changed and the resulting joy is apparent to behold.

When parents are visited by their African relatives, they often decide to sit outside on the veranda/porch/Balcony (albeit for a short while) whereas the accompanying kids go straight into the house. -I’ve seen this play out multiple times and an attempt at numbering the occasions would be futile.- As with most of the other actions of children, I just thought it was a sign of curiosity or an unexplainable child predilection . Until it hit me: children know what they want.

Children know that they want. Trust your sight fam you read that right.

Children are predisposed to stretching out their arms when they want a hug or pointing fingers when they want that new Superman action figure. This behavior is overtly cast across all activities they indulge in and is prominent throughout childhood.

…..”the erosion of this attitude occurring as a result of the irony expressed by a society that teaches and emphasizes patience and a soft spoken nature but mostly goes ahead to appoint hasty and uncouth people into positions of authority.”

It all seem fun and games until adulthood comes; a time when social norms, dogmatic patterns and behaviors rob us of our expressive nature. We wait for everything; in line, for a token, to get served… Like that’s not enough, we wait to have to wait till October for the second season of Stranger things *shakes fist angrily at Netflix*

These are all activities which ordinarily pose no threat, but are not benign and in the long run deflate our well rounded child-like desire to be expressive. It’s really a trap — veiled as culture and patience. What a shame… 😢

This isn’t however without its advantages as it teaches the aforementioned virtues of patience and culture as well as maturity and meekness but society still goes ahead to appoint hasty and uncouth people into positions of authority. The ever present result is a society that has robbed us of our curiosity and inner dinosaur.

A spill over effect is visible in the way we approach our normal life;

  • We no longer express our thoughts freely or stretch out or arms when we are lonely and desire a hug. We’d rather post a screenshot of lyrics from that new Emo pop track and inundate the caption with unintelligent #hashtags.
  • We no longer run straight into the house to get on with the reason for our visit, or point at that new action figure, or demand that we want to watch a different station.

We are rather content in mediocrity and building other people’s dreams.

What good is maturity that robs you of expression and saddles you with unnecessary societal expectations? Who maturity don epp? E give you money?😐

The world today is littered with anecdotes teaching us to not behave like children- for all the wrong reasons- Primarily because of the erroneous dogma that “maturity” should come with age.

Marcus Aurelius the last of the five good emperors has been famously quoted saying:

“Youth is not a stage in life. It’s an attitude. It’s an expression of will, imagination, and emotional identity. The victory of courage over disheartenment. The victory of a spirit of adventure over idleness.”

Samuel Ullman put it best

“Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.
Youth means a tempermental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of 60 more than a boy of 20. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.”

The man responsible for two-thirds of the New Testament told the boy under his tutelage to “let no one despise his youth”. I would love to by extension interprete. “youth “ in that sentence to include behavior, mindset and the strong desire to stretch out our arms when we need a hug.

The ripple effect of killing your “inner child” is that it robs you of youthful purpose. Your subconscious gets into a servitude mode rather than that of an entitled winner, leader and world beater.

Yes, we can’t be kidadults but we can all be children with certain aspects of our lives. Maturity might just be “a trap, a thief”. So go on demand for the TV station you want to watch and if there’s any opposition take your inner child and fight for it’s custody

So go forth, achieve great things, and be childlike because children set goals and are committed in approach, they do not procrastinate towards fulfilling, better put: they go 0 to 100 real quick in actualization. The sort of efficiency Jurgen Klopp would love to see him team counter attack with.

Isn’t that an admirable quality?

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