As young children, we often find ourselves looking up to the adults in our lives, whether it be a sagacious elder, a successful public figure, or a parent whose relentless drive and constant support inspires confidence.
What if we were to flip the script though? What if adults were to thoroughly examine what children had to teach us?
After all, children are the closest we have to blank slates, uncorrupted by social standards and culture. This period of life can provide useful insights into the psychology of humans as well as answer questions regarding human nature.
We rarely think that these youthful and immature human beings could be wells of wisdom and life lessons, and it’s about time we realize what they have to offer.
As we grow older, we tend to form stubborn opinions and biases regarding a multitude of topics; however, when we are young, we are constantly trying to obtain and absorb knowledge about the world. This instinctual gravitation towards learning new things tends to dissipate as we age though and in its place is a desire to protect our opinions.
In turn, adults irrationally safeguard their mental wellbeing and security through denying alternative viewpoints. Having lost the mental malleability of their childhood, adults should acknowledge that taking in all viewpoints is the most advantageous way to grow.
Furthermore, as people burgeon into adults, they begin to lose touch with their creativity, becoming more practical and unimaginative in their analysis of the world around them. In turn, adults should work towards maintaining their imagination in order to stimulate passion and innovation.
Also, as mentioned earlier, children are generally unaffected by standards and expectations, creating social interactions that are void of artificiality. When children casually talk to each other, they aren’t trying to flaunt their accomplishments by talking about themselves; rather, they discuss and converse about their surroundings together.
As a result, their conversations appear genuine because questions come from places of legitimate curiosity and contain an unselfish fluidity, a quality that adult conversations often lack as smalltalk quickly dissolves into back-and-forth listings of people’s life achievements.
Another aspect of life that adults could learn more about is how to enjoy the bores of everyday life. For children fortunate enough to live untroubled lives, they generally exude a high energy through physical, mental, and social activity, and while adults tend to slow down their raw output in favor of mental acuity and higher physical potentials, adults’ social activities shouldn’t also slow down.
For men especially, the tendency is to approach social interactions, especially with unfamiliar people, with low energy and a passive aggressive detachment. This distancing prevents adults from connecting on deeper levels as relationships are formed upon shallow emotions and smalltalk.
By inputting energy into these social interactions instead, conversation becomes interesting and unpredictable, and others’ company becomes a pleasure not a burden.
Moreover, this positive energy can seep into other facets of life. Approaching life with an optimistic, childlike point of view, adults can truly appreciate the gifts in their life for the joy they bring. More importantly though, this energy allows adults to see defeat as a routine fixture on the road of life instead of a dead-end, dismissing negativity from overtaking their lives.
In turn, when it comes to role models, maybe the best ones are those much younger than us. By teaching us the importance of being open to growth, creative, genuine, energetic and positive, children have shown us that we have a lot of catching up to do.