This I Believe
I believe that the mind of a child is precious.
Many people disagree with me, however. It’s been said that as life goes on, one acquires wisdom and patience. People learn to think logically and analytically. While these traits are valuable, traits come along with adulthood that aren’t so desirable: inhibitions, self-consciousness, loss of imagination, and snap judgments to name a few. Society passes these qualities off as “maturity” and pressures the future diplomats and teachers of our world to dispose of their childish ways. The truth is that children possess the solution to many of life’s most crucial problems.
I remember hearing about a family friend when she was in kindergarten and her ability to see beyond color. A new kid transferred to her school who was the only black child in the classroom. When her mom asked her to describe him, the girl went on and on about his leather jacket and cool red shoes. The mother kept asking, “Are you sure that is all?” Growing impatient, she finally said, “Honey, is he black?” After pondering for a moment, the girl replied, “Oh yeah. I guess he is.” It was the last thing on her mind regarding her new best friend.
I believe this story is merely a glimpse of childhood purity. World leaders spend their whole lives searching for the answer to racial discrimination, while little kindergarteners have already achieved the perfect utopia. To them, each child is simply a child and the color of skin is an after thought. The true merit of a person lies in their ability to make a sandcastle or their decision to share their cheerios. A child’s personality is one to be envied. It hasn’t yet been tainted by the judgmental world.
I believe that there is a certain beauty in the brutal honesty of a child. When I was little, right in the middle of 9:00 mass, I covered my ears and yelled, “Will someone tell him to stop?” Of course, the congregation laughed and the priest made some witty comment to counter-act the disruption. While people may have scoffed at my bluntness, every one of those adults was thinking the same thing. While my honesty was not appreciated in that particular situation, children speak the truth in a world where deceit is much too common. It is impossible for kids to lie without some obvious tell of their dishonesty. This lies true in their actions as well. Kids do what they want regardless of what other people think. They have no inhibitions. Imagine a world where no one cares what is cool, but stays true to themselves no matter what. People would be free to speak up and the shy would have no fear in sharing their ideas. Adults in the real world put up walls that prevent their true selves from shining through.
Another common “annoyance” people associate with children is the constant “Why?” questions. The putting down of these questions at a young age is only the beginning of the rejection of learning. I believe children are curious in a world of ignorance. They are honest in the midst of lies. Kids are imaginative when creativity is lacking. Also, they refuse to judge. I believe that mind of a child is precious.
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