We Don’t Know More Than Our Children
My five-year-old son asks me a million questions. Our conversations are philosophical, deep and often leave me speechless. And I wonder… how did he say what he just did? Here’s a snippet from a recent exchange:
My son: Where is God?
Me: He is everywhere… but most especially in our hearts.
My son: How can something so big fit inside us?
Children are natural gurus. They’re so beautifully unscarred by the manmade trauma of life, that they see what we don’t: clarity. They feel what we don’t: purity. They speak what we can’t: the truth.
I didn’t answer him. Instead, I probed. “How do you think?”
Without missing a beat he said, “We are big inside.”
I couldn’t have put it better. I don’t think I believe what he does, you see. I’ve seen small heartedness, I’ve seen pettiness, I’ve seen anger, envy, rage, resistance… I’ve seen it all. It’s hard to believe that we’re capable of expansive goodness.
Just because we have seen more of life doesn’t make us masters of it.
In fact, it is our experience that erodes our essence.
Most of us aren’t watered with love. We don’t bloom. We survive despite the drought, with plenty of thorns to ward away the ‘bad’.
And so, we wither.
Our children are born clean of heart. They see only beauty. They want only love.
The cry of a newborn yearns for nurture, for sustenance, for milk, for love.
There is no cry for power, there is no cry for money, there is no competition, there is nothing. A newborn’s needs are basic and elemental in their purity.
The child’s brain knows little to no logic, ruled as they are by the right hemisphere… they are pure feeling, instinct, wonder, imagination and creativity.
To them a leaf is not a leaf… it is an instrument of wonder. The sun, a golden shining orb they want to catch in their fists… an endeavor they can spend hours pursuing. You get the picture.
We have lost wonder. We live in perpetual doing.
From being born as human beings, we’ve lost our essence in doing.
Where is the ‘be’ in being?
If you’ve lost it, simply spend a few minutes looking at a child.
You’ll find magic in the mundane.
Mere dust, water and paper will become instruments of joy.
You’ll see what it means to truly be present.
The next time you stop your child from jumping off a desk, or spinning in circles or creating a mess with imaginary play, just pause. Look. Learn from the wonder in their shining moment. There’s magic in it that you’ve lost years back… when you were forced to perform to be successful. When just being wasn’t enough.
You had to ‘DO’ to ‘BE’.
It’s easy for us to tell our children what to think and how to be.
It’s easy to assume that the years we’ve lived have actually given us invaluable experience.
They say elders know more because they’ve seen more pain, suffered and learned.
What if what we’ve seen has blinded us? What we’ve heard has conditioned us? What we’ve been taught has stunted us? What if?...
Our children are not yet corrupted by the manmade traumas of living.
The next time you want to teach your child… stop.
Question them, converse with them; don’t tell them what to do or how to think…
Just ask and say this:
“Tell me more.”
“How did you do that?”
“What do you think?”
And watch the mind and heart of a guru, unfold.
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