Monday, April 23, 2012

Innocent Mind, Hurried Child and Marathons

When S was young, he glanced over the cover of a novel his Mom was reading and said "The man is drowning". That's before he could read and there was nothing explicit in the book cover that suggested the face with the eyes closed was drowned.

There is something abt a child's mind which "sees" things very differently from that of an adult. Perhaps as we grow old, we learn to see trends, familiarize with patterns, accept family and societal values, & conform to govt, institution, and authourity's ways of seeing things. We internalize acquired skills and experience into our sub-conscious thereby making life more efficient.

There is no need to think before putting one foot in front of another cuz we already learnt how to run when we were little (that's one of the challenges when I was a "learn to run" instructor with adults).

Unlike the student driver who needs to think abt putting the signal light on before turning, we pretty well auto-pilot in rush-hour traffic, zipping in and out passing lanes while the brain is processing hundreds of sensory signals and other non-related thoughts, such as what grocery we need for tonight's supper.

Efficiency is gained when our sub-conscious has established auto-piloted processes that filter info and thoughts based on past skills, experience and pre-conceived criteria. Just ask any old couple (married, straight, or otherwise) who not only tastes salt when the other cries, but also blanks out all the nagging from the better-half :O

Unfortunately, this efficiency that is so essential in everyday living also closes our minds to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and more importantly the upbringing of our children.

Just look at the tiger moms and dads who insist on destroying the innocent, carefree childhood of their cubs by forcing the latter to undertake endless violin and piano lessons, dancing and princess competitions, extra tutorials to gain 95+ school marks, and in one odd case, by forcing a child to run naked outside in freezing cold temperature.

So the next time your child stops and stares at something "ordinary", a rock, a butterfly, or a dead bird, put yourself in his/her innocent mind and recall how simple your life was back then. Share and enjoy with him/her the short but happy and care-free period of childhood. Instead of yelling "C'mon let's go, I don't have all day", remember this:

The first few metres of a hurried child does not guarantee his/her accomplishments in a life-long journey of marathons.
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