January 23    

Today's quotation:

Too many people grow up.  That's the real trouble with the world--too many people grow up.  They forget. They don't remember what it's like to be 12 years old.  They patronize, they treat children as inferiors.  Well I won't do that.

Walt Disney

Today's Meditation:

I still remember talking to my mom one day about my dad:  "He seems like he never was a kid," I told her.  And I knew, even at the ripe old age of ten or eleven, that I didn't want to be that way when I grew up.

Children are merely human beings who haven't been on this planet as long as adults.  They aren't inferior, they aren't different, they aren't lesser than we adults are--they're simply younger.  Their wants and needs and desires are just as important as ours are, and the major difference between adults and kids is simply that the kids are more vulnerable than the adults because of their age.  I never talk down to a kid because I don't know if we've lived other lives or not--and that kid might have been an imposing figure in a previous life.

I have noticed that kids like being around me, and I believe it's because of the ways that I treat them.  I talk to them, I listen to them, I take them seriously.  I respond to their questions when they ask me something, and I really think about the answers.  I never want to be that adult who's "just another adult."  And I never want to see kids as "just kids."  I want to be the adult who listens to them and who takes them just as seriously as I do the other adults in my life.  Because they truly deserve for me to do so.

Be the exception.  Treat kids as people, as equals, and you may be shocked by what you learn from them and about them.  They have much to teach, but we adults, in our arrogance, think that only we have something to teach them, and that there's no chance that that could work the other way around.  Treat children as young people, and love them fully.  Wasn't it Jesus who said, "The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these"?

We can help kids to become the people they were meant to be, or we can try to control them and make them be people we want them to be.  We can enjoy their company, or we can see them as problems.  Personally, I think we're doing the world a favor when we allow ourselves to play like and with them, to talk with them, to accept them as they are, and to allow them to grow as they're meant to grow.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many of us lose our ability to see the world through a child's eyes?

What kinds of damage can be done if we try to control children and keep them from being kids?

What are some of your best memories from childhood?  How can you help today's kids create positive memories of their own?

For further thought:

All children are artists.  The problem is how to remain artists once they grow up.

Pablo Picasso

more on children



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