Wayfaring Writer

Driven by a violent desire to write.

5 Things We Need To Re-Learn From Children

I really envy the way children get to live life. There is so much in the philosophy of a child that’s awesome, and I want to take some of that back for us “grown ups”. So here are 5 things we need to re-learn from children.

Low Expectations

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The other day I was in a meeting struggling to stay awake when I saw a little boy just straight up passed out on the floor. His arms and legs were stretched out wide, using a book as a pillow, and just chilling without a care in the world.

No one was paying any attention to him. No one cared that he was asleep. No one expected him to stay awake. I really miss that.

Now that I’m an adult people tend to get offended when I fall asleep in their meetings. They don’t like it when I say I’m bored and walk off to do something else. My sometimes bizarre clothing choices are looked upon with distaste. And let’s not even talk about my hygiene when I traveling abroad.

While giving people more responsibility so they can grow into a functional adult is a good thing, I think we tend to put unrealistic, unfair, and unspoken expectations on each other that can suck a lot of joy out of our lives. I think we could all stand to let loose a little and lower our expectations of each other and create a little more freedom and a lot less stress in our lives.

Sense of Fun and Imagination

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Kids have so much fun! Just the other night there was a man playing a drum and the kids were going crazy. They danced, clapped their hands, and were just full of joy at such a simple thing. It was great.

These days I look around and if there’s no internet, TV, or video games a lot of people don’t know what to do with themselves. It’s like they lost their ability to have fun without someone directing what they do.

I remember being a kid and my parents would give me a kit to set up a tent and in an hour everything was torn apart. The tent was now a cape, the tent poles were swords, and the connectors were throwing stars. You couldn’t give me anything that I couldn’t destroy and turn into something better. Or at least make a big mess of. Now I’m a little more easily entertained. Instead of running around making messes I sit and write or draw, though I still occasionally get myself into trouble.

I think a lot of it comes from guilt and shame that we teach our kids. We certainly aren’t born with it, I always see naked babies running around, covered head to toe in food or mud, and running wild. You certainly don’t see adults doing it, and if you do they’re probably being chased by the cops.

We need to take back our childlike imagination and sense of fun. Nothing in our lives has to be boring, we just have to put the work in to make it fun.

Honest and Trusting to a Fault

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I love how up front and honest most kids are. If you have a booger hanging out of your nose they’re going to either tell you about it or pick it themselves. I know, they’ve done it to me. And trust? If you’re an adult kids take everything you say as the facts.

The old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” was something I completely believed in as a child. I was sorely disappointed when I found out it was just something people say and I had to go to the doctor anyway.

As we grow older we tend to be less honest and less trusting. Why? Because we learn it from the people around us. Whether it’s lies we tell to prevent hurting people’s feelings, lies we tell to keep ourselves out of trouble, or lies we tell to make other people think better of us we tend to lie more than tell the truth.

I think instead of lying to protect other people’s feelings and protecting ourselves we need to teach to embrace truth, no matter what. While the truth can certainly hurt, and isn’t always fun to hear, many good things will come from it. Let’s encourage more truth and stop lying to one another.

No Limitations

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Every child has big dreams. They want to be the President, astronauts, fairy princesses, or millionaire roller coaster testers. There is no limit on a child’s dreams. We need to get that back.

Too often we see all the challenges that face us in our dreams and we simply give up. But we need to see past those limits and exceed them, go beyond them to better things. The only time you have failed in something is if you accept that as a reality. Keep pursuing your dreams, don’t take no for an answer, and there is no limit you can’t exceed.

Family

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When you’re a kid your family is everything. They’re your healers, your confidants, your guides, and your best friends. I’ve noticed that for many of us the older we get the more distant we are from our families. I know I’m guilty of it, and I don’t want to lose that time.

I remember playing Nancy Drew Mystery and Berenstein Bears video games with my little sisters. Building a tree house with my dad. My mom bandaging my wounds with herbal remedies. Talking with my stepmother in a cabin. Going shooting with my stepfather. These are all great memories, and I want to keep making more or them.

Sure, there’s a lot of bad memories too. But I don’t want to hold onto all that. I’d rather forgive and forget all that crap so I can keep making good memories with my family. And if I stick close to them with a childlike heart it’ll be more fun for all of us. And a lot more messy.

Go out today and live life with a more childlike heart. Play in the mud, call your parents, don’t let other people’s opinion tell you who you are, and just be you.

About Luke Geldmacher

I grew living on an island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Currently, I live in a 40 acre farm in Cookville, TX. I sometime write about life issues, but my passion is sci-fi and fantasy storytelling.

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