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Never forget the message of children

Bill Fox

Bill Fox

By Bill Fox/Columnist

This week, my son sent a picture of our two-year-old grandson hiding from his sisters and his parents. The problem is that his head was under an easy chair but the rest of his body was easily seen.

That picture reminded me of what it was like to be a child. Do you think perhaps we still have a lot to learn from children?

Toddlers are innocent and trusting. That little guy wanted to play hide and seek, and he trusted no one could see him, because obviously he could not see them. Would it be right at that moment to tell Walker he was wrong and his body was not hidden, or was it better just to take a picture to remember how innocent he was?

“Children need models rather than critics,” said Joseph Joubert.

I am sure in time little Walker will see and learn that his older siblings hide their entire bodies.

Little children can be so enthusiastic. One of my sons was nicknamed Mikey, Mikey, Motorcykey when he was a toddler. Michael never seemed to walk anywhere, as he always ran.

I see the same behavior in our grandchildren now.

Someone knocks at their front door, they all run to see who it is. When was the last time you or I ran to the front door when someone knocked? Maybe over time we lost that enthusiasm after seeing the person was not the pizza delivery guy?

Little children love to learn, they are imaginative, and eager to go. You and I perhaps were once like this too. Maybe over time we were told too often what we thought we learned was wrong. Like hiding under that easy chair – that was the wrong way to hide.

If we insist on constantly correcting children, perhaps they stop dreaming, imagining, and being enthusiastic.

What’s so wrong with dreaming? What’s so wrong with having expectations that things can be better and that things can be what you hoped?

We talk so much about disillusionment and how much is wrong with society, but I don’t get why we can’t still dream.

An innocent child may see things as they wish they were and not as they are, and we judge them and call them “immature” and “unrealistic.” I’d like to think that innocence is less about being unknowledgeable and more about being pure. Perhaps we were our purest as a child, with our hopes and dreams.

I believe, as we get older we lose a lot of this purity. We become disillusioned by other people’s views on who we should be and what we need to do to be happy.

Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg was recently in Canada, and leading school strikes and protests across the entire world to demand action against climate change.

Yet supposedly informed adults in authority criticized her. But she was never discouraged from giving up her dreams.

Here is something to think about:

“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”  – Charles R. Swindoll

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”  – Frederick Douglass, statesman

“The soul is healed by being with children.”  – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist and philosopher

“Children make your life important.”  – Erma Bombeck, American humorist

“You have to love your children unselfishly. That is hard. But it is the only way.”  – Barbara Bush, former First Lady of the United States

“Children are our most valuable resource.”  – Herbert Hoover, 31st pressident of the United States

“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”  – Anonymous

“Children see magic because they look for it.”  – Christopher Moore, writer

I’m at bdfox@rogers.com, trying to be more child-like today.

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