Volume 1, Issue 11 November 2002
LIFE IS ABOUT LEARNING AND DISCOVERING.
“Hi dad, guess what? Emily found her feet today.”
Yes, those were the excited words from my daughter Jordin as she explained how my 5-month-old granddaughter, Emily Brooke Williamson discovered and is now playing with her feet.
It made me realize how amazing the wonder of discovery is. From childhood to death we are constantly learning and discovering. It is our nature. Unfortunately many of us stop learning and discovering and our minds become dormant and even cynical.
Why do we lose those childlike qualities that make us curious? How do we become full when there is so much that still remains on the table to taste?
I don’t think that there is an easy answer to those two questions because we all react differently to what the universe throws our way. I do have a strong sense of how to conduct our lives so that the souls we come in contact with can be encouraged not discouraged.
Let’s begin with our children. Try to see them as aliens who have just arrived on this planet. They enter with a clean slate. They are like sponges soaking up everything they can. Unfortunately, some parents unwittingly crush this creative process. We try to mold our children into what we think they should be instead of allowing them to be the person they were meant to be.
I have to stop here and clarify what I mean about allowing them to be the person they were meant to be. Yes, as parents and caregivers we must show our children what is appropriate behavior and what is not appropriate behavior. We must protect them from getting hurt. And we must teach them how to interact with others. It is how we go about this that I would like to discuss.
If an alien came to live with you and you were trying to teach them the rights and wrongs of our culture, would you not take your time and explain everything very carefully so as not to be misunderstood? Would you not repeat yourself as many times as it took until you were understood? Would you not be patient and polite?
Yet, with our children we think it is appropriate to yell when we teach and to hit when they get it wrong. We lose patience. We punish for mistakes rather than teach it again. We treat our children with disrespect while saying things like, it is for their own good and they will thank us later.
Every time you stop your child from learning and discovering you injure the soul and eventually turn that child into an adult with no sense of learning or discovery.
Many of us believe that once we have the child we can just set “it” in front of the TV for learning and we also believe when “it” gets out of line all we do is slap “it” or punish “it” until “it” learns what we think “it” should learn.
It will be difficult for those of you who have been treated with disrespect by your parents to grasp what I am saying. We only know what has been taught to us, and if that means beating into submission is right, then that is what we do. Every time we yell “NO!” we retard the instinct to learn and discover. As long as your children are safe, allow them to learn and discover. Allow them to be the person they were meant to be.
And as for you, if you are the type of person who stopped learning and discovering, it is not too late. Remember the only people who will criticize you for taking the time to learn and discover, will be the 2%er who is so sad about his or her life that they have to get others to feel worse than they do.
Take the time to find that childlike quality and find your feet, you will be surprised where they will take you. Go out everyday with the goal of learning and discovering something new.
Best in life...…
“You will be free to be the person you were meant to be once you allow all others the freedom to be the people they were meant to be.”
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