Becoming Like a Child

I’ve been spending a lot of time with my 13 month old grandson lately. What a joy! Being with children can be a good way to slow you down and take a look at what is important in your life.

My grandson is just beginning to talk but seems to be constantly asking “what is this?” or exclaiming “how wonderful!” I know I’m attributing words to him, but I swear that he is doing something of this sort. He points and says “bah” to everything, which I think is his all purpose way of inquiry.

Two things seem important:

  • One is just how crucial it is to take the time to explain and talk to little ones. They are developing mentally and emotionally, and we help them along on this path by paying attention to what they are experiencing and explaining to them.
  • Learning from children to pay attention to what is happening, rather than only living in our heads or in the future is profound for all of us. That is what children do for us when we’re willing. We can pause to see the world through their eyes. To notice what a wonder that leaf is or how that tree feels.

Of course we have to think and plan in our daily lives. But it is also important to just be and notice, and we often don’t find time for that. After all, we are called “human beings”, not “human doers”.

Taking time to “smell the flowers” is important to do not only with our children, but for ourselves. The children will ultimately benefit when we do this.

 

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