This article first appeared on The Online Citizen.
When I was little, all I wanted was to grow up. Grown-ups rule the world – from controlling the television remote and operating all kinds of cool gadgets to being able to choose the time they went to bed. And then there is always the sentence “You will know when you grow up,” that made adulthood all the more alluring.
We all know what happened. I came of age. Now that I am finally ‘there’, I have to admit that there have been times when I wished I could turn back the clock and relive my childhood. This might be a typical case of the grass being greener on the other side.
I look at the little children of today and recognise that, without knowing it, they continually teach us some lessons we adults could benefit from. By children, I refer to the little ones 24 old months old and above. They are usually in kindergarten, old enough to begin to understand and young enough to feel that the world is their oyster.
One day at a time
Unlike adults, you are unlikely to see kids fretting over the loss of time. This has something to do with the fact that some of them are probably not old enough to tell time. Instead kids take each day, possibly even each moment, as it comes. They might have a weekly schedule at school, or a daily routine of things to do, yet you will be hard pressed to find a child worrying about what is to be done the next day. They are present, engaged and living life – one day a time.
Keen to laugh
Kids love fun. They look for the fun in every situation, in everything they do, and in everybody they meet. They do not take themselves or life seriously, and they certainly don’t carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They love to laugh and they are even quicker in laughing at themselves. They love when you laugh and they enjoy being able to make you or any other person laugh. And since laughter is contagious, they laugh even harder when they see that you are laughing alongside them. Laughing make the world brighter, happier and fun. Have you forgotten your sense of humor and how to laugh?
Quick to forgive
Kids do not going around nursing grudges, plotting revenge or planning how to get even. A simple ‘sorry’ is sufficient. And even if an apology is not forthcoming, they are too plugged into life to worry about it. It is not uncommon to see a child sobbing one moment after being pushed to the floor by another, only to be playing alongside the same child who pushed them the next – as if it had never happened. They simply move on and focus on what is next – be it learning, playing or other ways of having fun.
Unafraid to ask
There is a reason for everything. The only way to find out is to ask. There are no dumb questions. Kids are not afraid to ask questions because they have no concept of fear, rejection or being labelled a failure. They are encouraged to ask questions and they will persist at asking until they understand the subject thoroughly. What would you ask if you knew you could ask anything and have no consequences?
Eager to learn
Kids are eager to make sense of the world around them. They are open to learning about everything put before them. It might take time. Yet you will seldom hear them lamenting about the difficulties of learning or complaining about how much time a task is taking. They try. They ask for help. Them they might try again. They recognise that they have lots to learn and they take the time.
So take the time today. Open your heart and forgive those who have wronged you. Smell the roses. Ask some questions. Learn something new. Laugh.
Dr. Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. For more, visit www.eroscoaching.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.