Thinking like a child could change your life.
What do I mean? Well, kids blurt out the truth. If your fly is unzipped, they will tell you. If your face is wrinkly, they will tell you. If their mom’s in the bathroom throwing up when you call, they will tell you.
They have sharp insight about what’s important in life, and they don’t mind asking the tough questions. Here are 3 profound truths we can incorporate into our thinking, straight from the mouths of first graders:
YOU ARE SPECIAL.
“I have super powers. I attach fans and flashlights to myself. I put on gloves that I attach them to, and I put on a mirror that reflects the sun’s light. It gives me power.”–Harrison
(Concerning math sheet) “I don’t know why they call that ‘Higher Order Thinking.’ That was easy.”–Sarah
“Your hair looks like it did yesterday.”–Mandie; “I didn’t have to comb it today.”–Eric
“Why are you wearing camouflage?”–Shelley; “I’m a redneck. Are you a redneck?”–Haley; “I don’t know. What’s a redneck?”–Shelley; “Do you live near the woods?”–Haley; “Yes.”–Shelley; “Then you’re a redneck.”–Haley
Embrace who God made you to be, and be the best version of yourself! You are special, you were created for a unique purpose, and you have contributions to your world that only you can make. You really do have super-powers. Maybe someone just told you to take off the gloves and flashlights a while back, so you did. Try putting those special powers back on. Decide to think: Anything is possible! You have amazing things still to do.
YOU ARE LOVED.
“We need to pray for my mom. She has a headache all the time.”–Mikey, the class’s most ADHD child
“My mom used to be a lawyer. Then she gave it up to have me.”–Joel
“My mom comes home from her trip tomorrow. My Daddy did not sign my book because Daddy is not a very good signer.”–Caroline
A first grader’s world revolves around mom: how she acts, what she says, and how she makes her son or daughter feel inside. All parents have the enormous responsibility to render their children content, safe, confident, and happy. This truth leaves me with 2 challenges, which I feel compelled to embody. The challenges for me today are as follows: 1) Do I make people feel loved? and 2) Have I thanked someone lately for how he/she has loved me? Turns out, I can spread love as easily as I can hoard it. Think Who can I love today that needs it? instead of Who around here loves me? The second thought belongs to a martyr, and little children haven’t figured out that strategy yet.
YOU CAN LEARN.
“Teacher, I have something to tell you.”–Lee
“At storytime, you give us a piece of candy so we will sit quietly and listen.”–Thomas
During reading groups: “My stomach hurts. I think I’m sick.”–Ronnie; “Do you want to lie down in the nurse’s room?”–me; “Yes.”–Ronnie; “We’re going to recess in a few minutes. If you’re sick, you can’t go and play.”–me; “Never mind. I feel better.”–Ronnie
“Next year, when I have my birthday party, I can invite a teacher. I’m going to invite you!”–Rachel
“If everyone has a clean desk, the Desk Fairy comes and leaves candy in our desks!”–Amanda
Learning is exciting. Just ask any young child. But somewhere, between first grade and middle school, some children decide they aren’t that special, they can’t achieve their dreams, and that learning is difficult. They stop believing, they stop loving, and they stop learning. They stop changing into the people they were meant to be.
Don’t let that happen to you, even if your face is already wrinkly.
Carpe diem. Choose to believe, love, and learn. Life is beautiful, and it only comes around once.
(Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)