Kids. Some people love them while others claim to hate them. No matter which side you choose to be on, there’s no doubt that actually being a child is a beautiful thing. While you may look at a child’s blind optimism as being naive, I think as adults we need to take a step back and act like kids again whether it’s for an hour or a lifetime.
If you’ve spent any time around kids, you know that they can be brutally honest. Instead of lying about that new haircut that you probably shouldn’t have gotten, kids will tell you right away that they don’t like it. In a state filled with passive aggression and little white lies (Minnesota Nice?), some honesty is refreshing — no matter how blunt it may be.
Laugh a Little
Just spend five minutes with a kid and I bet you’ll hear them laugh at least once. Everything’s funny through the eyes of a child, whether it’s a terrible knock-knock joke they made up that made no sense or just a video about a cat with a box on its head. When a kid laughs, it’s with every ounce of their little being and it’s contagious to all around them. When’s the last time you really, truly had a good laugh where your whole body was involved? A kid would tell you that this happened to them about two minutes ago. They don’t even have to take a moment to try and remember when this time was, which is a wonderful thing.
The way children typically see the world is drastically different than the way an adult sees it. Just ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll see. Ninja, princess and astronaut are usually at the top of the list. If you ask a U of M student what they’re planning to do after college, it’s unlikely that astronaut is still high on that list. Children see the world as full of endless possibilities, but that idea is something we lose as we grow older. It’s a sad fact of life when a person’s actual job and dream job aren’t the same. We tend to lose faith in the opportunities life provides us and fall into a life of what we think is realistic for ourselves. Children dream big and don’t let people tell them that their dreams aren’t reachable.
Children don’t have time for your judgements or not-so-subtle eyes rolls. Kids do whatever they please and don’t let the opinions of others stop them. Kids will dance like nobody’s watching in the middle of a crowded supermarket, talk to every stranger they pass and give no f*cks while they do it. As adults, we tend to care too much about what others will think of us and don’t partake in these carefree activities anymore (not while completely sober, that is). Next time you want to dance in the middle of Coffman, do it. Who cares what people think! (Plus with a campus of this size, you might never see those people again.)
Don’t Hide Your Emotions
Along with not being able to hide their honesty, children also can’t hide their emotions. If a child’s sad, they will make sure that’s clear to you. This goes for if they’re happy, angry, embarrassed and everything in between as well. In a society where it’s normal to hide one’s feelings, just about everyone can learn a lesson from a child about expressing how they feel.
Whether you love children or not, we can all take a lesson on how to live like a child. Imagine a world where everyone just said what they were thinking and how they feel. Children have so much they can teach us about how they live and it’s about time we start listening.