From the Principal

Childish Wisdom

I have been told that teachers often remain a bit like children because that is who they deal with every day.

I am not sure that this is meant as a compliment but let us assume it is.

It is easy to assume the positive because being childlike has certain advantages.

For example:

  • A good life outcome: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. Matthew 18.
  • Children have an unstoppable sense of wonder and optimism.
  • Young children have a very magical quality and that is to see the world as new and untainted.
  • Children can make friends, fight with someone of their age and mend fences within a moment. Adults generally lack this.
  • In an immature brain the number of connections among neurons, or synapses, is 50 percent greater than in the adult brain.
  • Children are often better than adults at solving tasks that require a creative solution, such as being set a challenge with limited equipment and are faster (foreign) language learners.
  • Young children tend to view the world through eyes that see beauty and endless possibilities. As adults, we are often burdened by responsibility and anxiety.

I also think that sometimes what we adults consider childish can be a source of great wisdom. Take, for example, the wisdom buried in children’s books.

 For example:

Winnie-the-Pooh
  • “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
  • “You’re braver than you believe and stronger and smarter than you think.”
  • “The things that make me different are the things that make me.”
  • “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
  • “We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”
The Wind in the Willows
  • “Home! That was what they meant, those caressing appeals, those soft touches wafted through the air, those invisible little hands pulling and tugging, all one way.”
  • “Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new! Then some day, some day long hence, jog home here if you will, when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for company.”
Paddington Bear
  • “I think the Merry-Go-Round is a very good way of travelling if you don’t want to go anywhere.”
  • Aunt Lucy said: “If we’re kind and polite, the world will be right.”
  • “I’ll never be like other people, but that’s alright, because I’m a bear.”
Dr Seuss
  • “Oh the things you can find, if you don’t stay behind!”
  • “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.”
  • “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
  • “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”

Let us  accept that growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional.

In a world that seems to want children to morph into young adults at an increasingly young age, with all the negatives that can come with that, perhaps we should celebrate childishness in children and keep a bit of that unspoiled view of the world for our adult selves.

Particularly when our world seems so full of crisis, pain, danger and an almost crushing sense of doom. Should we make a choice to retain a little of our childlike self instead of becoming fully “grown up”.

We have a choice:

The adult view

Or…..The childlike (tiger) view

“A land of fairy tales and good things, is all a child will dream all day.
And while he’s young he’ll have no reason to cry for someone gone away.
See the clown who makes the children laugh, as he spins around and
Shows them all his tricks.
Oh how I wish I were a little boy again, living in a child’s dream.”

Worth considering.

Terry Muldoon
Principal

Want to share your thoughts on this story, or do you have something you’d like to add? Email me at principal@scas.nsw.edu.au

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