In my last blog entry, I focused on some remarkable people in their very senior years with the idea that a person is only as old as they feel. Well, a logical place to focus for this week seemed to be at the other end of the spectrum—the innocence and wisdom of children.
I was actually inspired in part for this blog by the most charming story from a recent story on the Sunday CBS Sunday Morning show in which a sweet five-year-old girl was interviewed because she has a special bond with her pet duck that she has raised since the duck was just a duckling. Take a look at this two-minute video and be charmed. There is something so fascinating and so impressive about small children and their ability to see the world in pure, insightful, and inspirational ways. Many of us adult people can probably learn a lot by paying attention to these children.
As a matter of fact, the 19th century writer Ralph Waldo Emerson reminded readers: “The world when seen through a little child’s eyes, greatly resembles paradise.” And more recently, Deepak Chopra, a practitioner of alternative medicine and an author, stated: “See the world as if for the first time; see it through the eyes of a child, and you will suddenly find that you are free.”
Of course the naiveté and immaturity of small children is not what is valuable in children. Rather, the value is found in a child’s ability to see the world without the influences, prejudices, and biases that often influence the perspectives of adults. Small children are not affected by self-consciousness and the regard of other people; they are their natural selves.
The British educator Sir Ken Richardson is concerned that the natural creativity of young children needs to be nurtured rather than stifled, and he offers a meaningful and funny perspective on this in one of his TED Talks which I know you will enjoy.
I love to see the children of students here at Maria College when they accompany their parents to campus during a quick errand. I am reminded that the original focus that Catherine McAuley had as she founded the Sisters of Mercy was to care for women and children who were in need.
So, the next time we have a snow storm or as you feel the warmer rays of the springtime sun in a month or two, let the child within you out to have some fun and take in the wonder of watching the snow sparkle like diamonds in the sun or hearing the early morning birds sing in newly budding trees.
Until next time . . .