Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Art of Being a Child

When I was little, I believed in the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, Santa Claus and goodness knows who else. Fairy tales could come true and as far as I was concerned: they did. 

Image sourced from here.

Then there were the little novelties in life, such as the fact that if you go to a library, you can take as many books as you like and noone will shout at you for stealing. Or even the fact that there's a strange device which you can use to talk to people with, yet you can't see them when you do. 

The world is amazing when you're little. Everything is funny, and everything is magic. There's no such things as a bad person, because there are so many flying round keeping them out. And if a child sees something bad, they'll have forgotten about it and moved on by the next day. They forgive anything and a packet of chocolate buttons is enough to make everything better.

So where does all of that go? At what point do we stop smiling without any real reason? When do we exchange fairy tales and niceties for paranoia about the way we look and straight, miserable faces? Why do we let that happen?

Image sourced from here.

And childhood isn't just special because it's magic or funny. It is also special because childhood seems to be the stage before society pokes its massive nose and replaces their naiveté with an ignorance of a different kind.
A three year old will play with anyone, regardless of age, race, religion or any other factor. At three years of age, we're yet to define normal and so it is understood that everyone is new and everyone is weird. When that's the case, everyone is equal, no matter what.

Of course we all have to grow up. And becoming used to the world is inevitable I guess. The world can't afford to have everyone spending their whole lives believing in Santa or the tooth fairy because then we wouldn't have the people to be Santa Claus. And as we grow older, there are things that change us, and force us into a state where we do have to care about what others are thinking.

But that shouldn't mean that growing up should consume us. There are some truly miserable gits out there. And yet, every single one of them was once a child.

Image sourced from here.

I think it should be compulsory, that every once in a while, we just take the time to be with young children. Perhaps, even, to become children again. And crazy as it seems, I think we need to listen to children in all matters in life. The government especially should seek the views of children. Because yes, children know nothing about the real world. But this means that when they do see something, they see it in the rawest way possible. They don't see the endless lists of pro's and con's for doing something. Nor do they see the set of circumstances. They just see things as they are. And that's what the world needs.

So, I think there's a certain art to being a child. I'm always tempted to scream in the faces of those who grunt at people telling them to 'grow up' because that's the worst thing you can ask of anybody. We were all once children, and that is a fact that noone should be allowed to forget.

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