What We Can Learn From Kids

Children are, in fact, the future. But who’s to say they’re not the now as well? Who has dictated that they are incapable of being beneficial to adults until they reach a certain age? From everything they do to everything we are to teach them, kids teach us so much. Whether it be our own children or our students in a classroom setting, there’s so much to learn through and from them.

Children's books may have more than one meaning. (photo by normanack)

Children’s books may have more than one meaning. (photo by normanack)

In fact, the Atlantic understood this concept in their article, What Grown-Ups Can Learn From Kids Books. According to the article, going back to your children’s story books in a more mature mindset will show you what the books are truly about, just the same as a children’s movie can teach you a lesson. Lewis Carroll, in his writing of Alice in Wonderland, for example, reveals more than just an imagination running free, but rather, existentialist principles, as the Cheshire Cat telling Alice, as quoted from this site, “How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice. ‘You must be,’ said the Cat, ‘Or you wouldn’t have come here.” Here – upon further look perhaps regards her spiritual location rather than her actual one.

Perhaps that example was not what you were looking for – considering the kids aren’t necessarily teaching us, but the books are. In any case, there is a freedom in children’s books that children are able to run free through – the creativity, imaginative release that books give. In fact, there is a TED talk given on the subject of how adults should be inspired by a child’s creativity and fervor. The woman in question who delivered the talk is none other than Adora Svitak, the (currently) twelve year old writer and blogger who is an advocate of literacy for adults and children.

In her TED talk, she is quoted to have said, “Then again, who’s to say that certain types of irrational thinking aren’t exactly what the world needs? Maybe you’ve had grand plans before, but stopped yourself thinking, “that’s impossible,” or “that costs too much,” or “that won’t benefit me.”For better or worse, we kids aren’t hampered as much when it comes to thinking about reasons why not to do things. Kids can be full of inspiring aspirations and hopeful thinking, like my wish that no one went hungry or that everything were free kind of utopia. How many of you still dream like that and still believe in the possibilities? Sometimes a knowledge of history and the past failures of utopian ideals can be a burden because you know that if everything were free, then the food stocks would become depleted, and scarce [?] and lead to chaos. On the other hand, we kids still dream about perfection. And that’s a good thing, because in order to make anything a reality, you have to dream about it first.”

She is right. We need people to inspire others with their dreams. That’s why we can’t logistically shrug off everything. Just as anything, skepticism delays and gets in the way of progress. It is when nothing stops you that something changes.

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