This I Believe

Kimberly - Beavercreek, Ohio
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, children
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Abstract Minds

As a little kid, many people knew me for my wild imagination, odd habits, and perspective on life. I’ve found that little children often know more than their parents and older siblings. Perhaps it is the simplicity of their life, or perhaps it is just their ignorance. Whatever the cause, this I believe: as we get older, our minds and hearts close and we get a set perspective and mold that we see the world in. Kids aren’t like that. Children are just simply so open.

I spent my first six years of life in Virginia. Adults from my church always found me so, well, adorable in my strange activities. I would always look at things with an open curiosity that my parents could never really understand. I couldn’t understand how they couldn’t understand. Looking at paintings and banners at my church, I found I could explain them easily as well as stories that had abstract meanings. This completely baffled people except my friends who my age at the time.

I would also sing songs to myself that wouldn’t make sense to anyone but me. Now that I’m older, I’ve lost that ability and now my mind is amazed at how little kids interpret things. It proves to me that society molds us into who we are, wiping away our childhood ignorance and locking our hearts and minds. Most people don’t realize this or even think about it. People need to remember this, try to nurture the open-mindedness of kids to strive to keep it with them so that our world can better understand and protect each other from ourselves. If we force our beliefs, our culture, and who we are, we take away the opportunity for kids to teach us and show us things we’ve forgotten or can’t even imagine.

For example, my friends and I were staying after school for a few days. We were standing in the art department hallway and staring up at a huge painting of an abstract mural on the wall. None of us could figure out what it meant. For three days we debated and argued over what it meant. Then, finally one afternoon, a teacher’s son walked by. He glanced at the painting and told us it was a lifetime. We just stared at him, not understanding what he meant. He told us it represented birth, life, and death. This boy was hardly ten years old! This is what I believe: we have to preserve the hearts and minds of our children in order to preserve our future and to truly understand.