My article first published on Philippine Online Chronicles on January 12, 2016.
“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason,
to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his
might that which he desires.” – Paulo Coelho
Children may not have a lot of experience and knowledge about the
world but they have ideal qualities that many adults have long
forgotten. Kids can help remind us of little things that matter most.
They can give us a better perspective of life. Sometimes adults get lost
in the sea of responsibilities that they forget how to open themselves
to the sense of wonder and exploration. If you think about it, children
are gurus of true happiness.
The journey to adulthood may have made
us forget some of the essential things in life but it’s not too late. We
can still relearn and embrace the life lessons from childhood.
1. That another day is a chance to start anew
Adults like to carry around negative emotions like excess baggage.
When things go wrong, adults have a tendency to get mad, lay blame and
Children find it easy to let go and face the next day with optimism.
When you are young, each day is like a fresh start. They open their
doors to new opportunities and exciting experiences. Children leave past
disappointments and failures behind and try again without doubt and
Kids may fall several times but they always manage to get back up on
their feet. When adults are bombarded with challenges, they tend to
focus on the number of failures. The harder it is to recover, the more
they lose sight of their goals.
Children can teach us to hang on and just keep on trying. Success is
never far behind when you give your best. Patience and perseverance are
keys to realizing your visions.
2. Pay attention to the little things in life
We are often so absorbed with our work and responsibilities at home
that we neglect the beauty around us. Problems and worries of everyday
life can easily weigh us down. Sometimes adults would rather bury
themselves in their work so that they could temporarily forget their
Time can restrain us. Many adults are always in a hurry to beat
deadlines and pay bills on a regular basis. We are not aware that life
is passing us by.
Children can teach us to stop and smell the roses.
Take time to slow down and appreciate the beauty that is all around us.
Embracing the richness of life can help calm the mind and the senses.
Finding peace can help us focus better. Sometimes a break is just what
we need to boost our energy and concentration.
3. To face each day with courage and confidence
The young welcome each day with confidence and courage which allows
them to enjoy life better than adults. Children are not afraid of taking
risks. Their innocence makes them more open to new experiences.
As we grow older, fear becomes a result of what we have learned in
the past. For instance, an adult knows better than to touch a burning
candle because he knows he will get burned. In this context, fear
prevents one from getting hurt.
Adults are often ruled by different fears. Many grown-ups are afraid
of the unknown, being ridiculed, being rejected, being judged, and the
uncertainty of what might happen next.
Balance is important in life. It’s alright to use past experiences to
guide us in making better judgment but fear should not limit us from
trying new things.
People can enjoy life more by setting aside fears of failure. How will we know unless we try?
4. Take time out and have fun
Play is not just for children. According to Help.org, play is a way to “fuel your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being.”
Many of us become slaves to our duties, commitments and
responsibilities at the workplace and at home. We end up being so
overwhelmed with tasks that we barely have time to relax and have fun. As we grow older, we dismiss the essence of play.
In this modern world, adults’ idea of fun is often watching movie
marathons at home, engaging in online games, and browsing social media
sites. Many of us have forgotten about energetic and carefree play that gives us renewed vigor.
Find time away from your modern, serious and hectic lives to have
pure fun. It can be as simple as riding your bike with your spouse,
friend or child. How about blowing bubbles in the air or running around
the lawn? Get a chalk and draw on the pavement. Better yet, use it to
draw a good old “piko” (hopscotch) pattern on the ground and play with
the whole family. Fly a kite, catch a Frisbee, play fetch with your dog,
chase butterflies, and so on.
Keep in mind that play can relieve stress, stimulate the mind, inspire creativity, and improve relationships.
5. Learn to give without expecting anything in return
Most adults are open to helping, giving or sharing with others but
they often expect something in return. In the journey of life, many of
us have learned that a favor merits a return favor; perhaps not
immediately but later on.
Children can show us how good it feels to give unconditionally. The
young ones give without any hidden motives. Adults can re-discover how
to give without expecting to get something out of it. The happiness of
showing kindness and generosity to others can be its own reward.
Let kids remind us of how wonderful it is to extend a helping hand
without strings attached. Meaningful contributions make both giving and
receiving a heartwarming experience.
6. Open your heart to forgiveness
Children are the epitome of forgiving and forgetting. One minute kids
can be fighting over a toy and the next minute, they are giving each
other a tight hug.
Adults find it harder to forgive. Pride often gets in the way of
reconciliation. When adults get hurt, they often become resentful. They
carry a grudge that amplifies the pain.
Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. When we forgive someone, we give that person another chance. The young can teach us that forgiveness can free us of further pain.
Photo c/o Pixabay. Public domain.