"If we experienced life through the eyes of a child, everything would be magical and extraordinary. Let our curiosity, adventure and wonder of life never end. "
Ah, 2020 has finally come to an end (drum roll). With the new year comes one of my favorite things on the planet : Hope. The passing year impacted all of us in different ways, and even though there is no magic wand (unless in a great book! Wink wink) to fix or undo things we didn’t like. The truth is : We made it! So here we are...now what?
What we all have, the one true and powerful thing is our human ability to adapt to change. Let’s embrace the way our lives have changed with an attitude that dignifies our humanity. Change is necessary for growth but unfortunately so are our struggles that come with it. Despite all of the awful things that happened in the last year, I urge you to look back and find at least one good thing that happened to you or your family. Hold onto that feeling and use it as the ember that will create a torch to light your way through the upcoming year.
Have you ever been around a toddler for an extensive period of time? Have you ever thought about their "magical" ability to go from blind rage to laughter? research of course explains that it’s an inability to regulate their emotions properly and the still developing executive functions. I like to see it a little differently when taking in whatever life lessons they are trying to leave with me. As someone who has dedicated half of her life to educating children, I’ve managed to learn quite a lot from them. Children have magical ways to explain the unexplainable. As Constanza Orbaiz, a Psychopedagogue from Argentina explains in her TEDtalk. She suffered cerebral palsy when born, as a result she speaks differently. Some of her students wondered why she spoke in such a different way, but then one of their peers came to the teacher’s defense and explained to everyone that it was because “her tummy hurts”. Children always find ways based on their experiences and understanding of the world to explain anything that is happening to them or to others. In the movie “Life is beautiful” my absolute favorite thing is the ability of the father to make his young son believe everything is a game the whole time. At the end the child is convinced they won! His interpretation of the facts mixed with his father’s amazing ability to stay focused on keeping him safe and protect his mental health gave him something better than just a happy ending.
What I am trying to say is that we might benefit from looking at the world from a child's perspective from time to time in order to explain the unexplainable to them with the intent to save them from unnecessary pain or fears. The one particular lesson I want to talk about right now is : Resilience. Children are constantly learning from us but you’d be pleasantly surprised if you slowed down and took in the life lessons they are constantly teaching us too. They may come with simple words or actions but they are so powerful they can change your whole day. You influence this with the energy you bring to your interactions with them and of course the behavior you model. We should never aim to put out the magic within our children, that magic will one day be the reason they make the world a better place.
John Lenon had a childhood story that's very meaningful. His mother told him at age five that the key to life was happiness. He went to school and his teacher asked him what did he want to be when he grew up, he said "Happy" the teacher told him he didn't understand the assignment and he replied she didn't understand life. Perspective and interpretation are key to living meaningfully and to the fullest.
"Children are not only innocent and curious but also optimistic and joyful and essentially happy. They are, in short, everything adults wish they could be" - Carolyn Haywood
In conclusion, A new year doesn’t signify that all the bad things will go away. But it is an opportunity for a new beginning and you can choose to do this through the eyes of your inner child. Turn off the news, reconnect with your family. Happiness is not good for the consumerism that the big companies want to push onto us. It doesn’t fill their bank accounts when you understand that perspective and a positive attitude is all you need to find yourself moving ahead with an open heart.
I wish you more than the absolute best in this brand new year. I wish your inner child guides you with the possibilities that as a busy adult you may not see anymore (the floor is lava! But you are like anti lava, remember that game?) And always remember this is a marathon, not a sprint and happiness is a journey and not a destination. You.got.this!
"It's not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless" - L.R Knott