As I sit in my yoga pose searching for my zen & trying to still my mind which is trained to run parallel errands lists, I happen to look at the children in the playground near my home.
And I realize that as adults we are duty bound to teach children so many things. But isn’t it amazing what children can teach us in return.
Here are some-
A child knows no fear. He’ll jump two stairs at a time. Always. He’ll run at the top speed his pudgy legs would carry him at. He’ll tell you on your face if what you have cooked is tasty or not. He will call the slightly obese person ‘fat’ without any malice.
Children have no fear- physiological, psychological, or sociological. They embrace and emit what is, as is.
A child sees everyone and everything in the same vein. They take everything at face value, and earnestly. They laugh for no one but themselves. They dance for pleasure. Even when no one is watching. Maybe without music too J. Their universe is inside them.
3. Live in the moment-
They do everything whole-heartedly, immersing themselves in the act. May it be eating, playing, sleeping, or horsing around. They don’t remember what happened 5 minutes back (unless you took away their candy & we are in the middle of a tantrum) and are not concerned about the future. The present moment is where they live. Happily. Always. Giving it their best & their all.
4. True happiness-
They feel from their heart & their happiness is pure. Simple things like a splash in the puddle, or being able to stand on toes to press the elevator button which 3 months back was out of reach, or an unexpected tickle can make them happy. They don’t need outward materialistic things to give them joy.
Children are born yogis. Upto the age of four, most children will naturally choose to sit in poses which are complex yoga asanas. Their bodies are part of a fluid continuum which they are discovering and slowly putting to use. Most of their games are stretches & bends which we adults need to perform under guidance lest we invite injury.
Children have a belly laughter. They can laugh till tears stream down their cheeks. They gurgle with laughter which they can’t control. Its contagious & the most beautiful thing to witness. On an average a child laughs 300-500 times a day and it can be brought about by the silliest of things. We adults don’t even manage 15 laughs a day (and that too after many whatsapp forwards or mostly at someone else’s expense).
7. No concept of time-
Children can’t rush anything up. They will kick each & every stone in their way between the home & bus stop. Its your problem if the bus might miss, not theirs. They don’t multi-task, neither physically, nor in their heads.
If necessity is the mother of all inventions, then play is definitely the father. I read this in my children’s school. And how true is it! Children don’t play to win, to score, or to improve their skills. They play because it is fun to go whooshing down a slide. Maybe fall in the process. But that’s fun too.
9. The joy of eating-
They eat their food with their mouths. Not as an instagram opportunity, or a zomato rating, or something which is just sustenance. They savour what they are eating. They’ll close their eyes with every mouthful of the ice cream as if it was their first, or their last. They will eat it with greed, with pleasure and with satisfaction.
10. Forgive and forget-
They don’t hold grudges. A minute ago they may have hated you (yes, their emotions are quite strong) for taking away the remote, but just now they love you. They don’t bring up old incidents for getting even in an argument. They don’t keep records of fights. They only care how much you love them now, in this moment.
Children have boundless imagination! They can role play effortlessly, become a tree, a dog, weave stories, have weird names, games… the list is endless. They can imagine themselves as anything. They don’t know the concept of capabilities defining/limiting opportunities.
Children believe in magic with all innocence & honesty, and their parents and loved ones to be capable of all magical powers. They believe in fairies and fairytales.
To me, Magic = Boundless imagination + Unmoving faith
Which is also the formula for success.
Children are filled with passion. Ask a toddler to describe his favorite toy, and behold his animated 5 minute description. They give their all to whatever catches their fancy.
Children love purely. Not because they want something in return. Not because it is a social requirement. Not because they feel inadequate. But they love, because they like you. And because for them it is their only way of expression. No fancy cards, dinners or presents. Just a hug or an ‘I love you’ is what they have.
As parents we are in such a rush to get over the difficult, tiring, diaper changing, feeding and dependent years. We want our children to grow up fast. We feel we have earned the right by becoming parents to teach them everything we have garnered as wisdom and experience. But I think, it should be the other way around. With children, we have an opportunity to unlearn everything that has cluttered & bottled us up, and become free and wild again. They are the true teachers.
‘Getting older is inevitable, but growing up is a choice. Embrace your inner child. No matter what age you are’
This post appeared on Huff Post India as ’14 things children can do way better than adults’
Image credit Pinterest