Children shall lead

The truth however is that children make wonderful teachers. What is more, they achieve this without the benefit of the classroom and the conventional aids that go with it. Their method is simple—they concentrate on just being themselves. There is so much adults can learn from this. Children’s attitude to life is down-to-earth, unbiased and refreshing.

They are adept at simplifying problems and getting joy out of life. Let us consider how this happens.

Happiness: They seem to know a lot more than adults about the secret of happiness. It has been estimated that children laugh 300 times a day compared to adults who laugh only 15 times a day. This is because they are aware of the importance of being and living in the moment. Unlike adults, they neither brood over the past nor agonise over what the future might bring. They manage to focus fully on the here- and-now and so manage to get the most out of it. Watch a child building a house of bricks. It might come crashing down but rarely will he exhibit frustration. He moves on at once to the task of rebuilding, quite confident that his efforts will be crowned with success.

Honesty: There is the story of a little child who was watching her mother rubbing cream into her face. She wanted to know why she was doing that. ‘To make me beautiful,’ came the answer. ‘Then,’ queried the little one, ‘Why doesn’t it?’ Such honesty may seem rather brutal, but in a society that is rife with lies, it is a powerful remedy. This is why children are able to retain friends longer than we do. They may quarrel, but their honesty leads them to face the truth and make amends.

Wonder: To a child, the world is a wondrous place. Things big and small are reasons for fascination. A stone, a beetle or a puddle is a source of enchantment. To them, the world is full of beauty, novelty and surprises. Adults, on the other hand, allow the mechanics of living to erase the enchantment, making us forget what a magical place this planet is. No wonder we destroy Nature and pollute the environment without a thought.

Fair-mindedness: Children are without prejudice. Their attitude towards someone is not based on religion or one’s political leanings. They care little about the issues that divide adults.

In the brilliant story, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, the foolish king pretended to see a non-existent outfit because the tricksters had told him only the wise could see it. His subjects, equally foolish, admired it as the king walked down the streets without a stitch on him.

It took a child to reveal the truth, whereupon the entire populace joined in. How true is the quote, ‘And a child shall lead them’! Laughter, spontaneity, curiosity, acceptance—these and much more children possess and practice all the time. It is up to adults to watch them and learn valuable lessons from them.

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