This I Believe

Kristin - Blandon, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 22, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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From The Mouths of Babes

I believe in innocence. More over, I believe in the innocence of youth. At a young age, children wander throughout their word unbiased and unashamed. As they grow, they learn what to accept, what to shun, what to be and what not to be. Their once untainted view of the world will change as they discover new things about humanity.

As a college student, I spent my summers working at a daycare for newborns to pre-k children. One humid day in July as I helped a three-year old change into her swimsuit, she poked at her stomach and said, rather proudly, “I got pudge!” About a dozen other three-year olds stood around changing into their swimsuits, and some even running around as naked as the day as they were born. All were happy, content and unashamed of their bodies. Despite extra “pudge”, freckles, birthmarks or other imperfections, they were free of their cotton prisons and would be happy to stay that way.

Later as I replayed that moment in my head, I began to wonder, how many adults would you find proudly pointing out their extra curves or pounds? Probably none. When children are young, adults are constantly showing them how to act and how to behave. But do adults ever stop to consider that we should start acting like children more often? Not just taking the time to play and forget about work, but to look at ourselves through child’s eyes. Why should it matter if we have a few extra pounds stuck on our bodies here and there? Because, as we grow, we are programmed to believe that having a perfect body is one of the partial keys to success.

Each child that surrounded me that afternoon didn’t know what the “perfect body” was. They didn’t know because they didn’t care. As a child they shouldn’t care, but as adults, why can’t we hold onto that idea? Adults sometime look at children as a group that needs direction and control. But, I beseech parents now and future parents to let their children remain unashamed and confident of their bodies for as long as possible. Although there will be magazines and television shows telling them otherwise, by teaching them to be proud of themselves we can help to keep them innocent for just a little longer. In turn, that innocence may teach us to be like them. Hopefully.