You hear the phrases “Don’t grow up” and “Stay a child” frequently. Usually coming from rigid adults who say they wish they didn’t have to grow up and that the freedom of being a child is something to envy as you get older. I think that these people miss a huge detail in the lives that they live. Too often do we, as adults, get caught up in the day to day things we have to take care of such as going to work, paying bills, and doing chores. We start to miss the things that really make this life great and the freedom we have to choose to see and experience those things. After all, why work so hard to live a life that you don’t enjoy? While being a child has a lot of perks to it the biggest perk of being an adult, that all children know, is the freedom to choose what you want to do and when you want to do it. What we seem to forget as we grow up, however, is what we wanted that freedom for so badly as children. Here are some of the things that I think are most important not to forget that children innately know:
- Be creative
Adults are always laughing over the silly things children say, ‘aw’-ing over the cute things they make and watching with amazement as they become completely immersed in the games of their imaginations. We say that we need to value children's creative input and new points of views but we can do it too. We are all born with this ability to use our imaginations and to create things that have never existed before. The only reason we lose it is that we don’t practice it as much as we grow up. In fact, this has become the norm and now creativity and imagination are often viewed as something for a child to possess but this a sad and debilitating idea. We could all practice our creativity every day, not only is it good for us but it could turn out, and probably would turn out, to be amazing for the world. Express your creative abilities, we all have them, and you will start to notice more room in your mind and power in your abilities.
2. Never stop learning
One of the most amazing parts about watching a child is watching them learn new things. Watching them discover the world one piece at a time and never fail to be amazed at the endless things that are completely new to them. As we get older we start to become used to our environments and it starts to get boring for us. This boredom is actually a trick of the mind for there are countless things that we can discover and learn all around us. Even if they are things we may have discovered before they can still be fun to revisit. How long has it been since you’ve gotten in the grass or dirt and just watched a bug live its life for a while? Or even gone on a long “why” journey? While that may have annoyed your parents just a tad when you were younger Google never gets annoyed! Learn something new every day if you can and discover your surroundings to the fullest extent possible.
3. Have fun and play
This is another one of those things that’s looked at as only a child’s role. You will get some weird looks in public if you’re being playful with your environment or laughing hysterically over a crazy but fun thing you just did with a friend. You’re expected to maintain a certain composure at all times so people won’t feel unsettled by you. This is quite unfortunate and is restricting to the reality of the human condition. We are all just thrown into this environment having to pretext to what is going on. We naturally play with it as children, we have fun, we do things that make us laugh and be happy but as we grow up that behavior is seen as worrisome because people can’t predict what you’re going to do. But if play was an accepted norm and we learned the rules as a child about not damaging things and not harming anyone then this behavior is absolutely nothing to worry about and instead should be encouraged. It allows us to release stress, it helps us not be so serious, it encourages social connection, and it keeps us youthful in discovering the world and how we go about it. Have fun and play as much as you can.
4. Have wonder in the world
Children are constantly amazed by their environment, if you watch them, especially new-borns, you’ll just see them staring at things all the time. They are constantly taking in information about the world and building their perception of it. Not only that but they are getting their attention captured by complex and interesting things, they are experiencing wonder all of the time. Wonder is something that, when you are experiencing it, makes everything else slip away and life becomes beautiful and captivating. We seem to experience it less, partly because of the same reasons we seem to learn less because things seem to become boring because we’ve already experienced them. However, as I said earlier, there is an endless amount of things to experience. Look for situations in everyday life you can wonder at. A beautiful sunset, the blooming of trees and flowers, a silent snowscape, or even the amazing technological advancements that humans have created. Wonder is an extremely valuable part of a happy life that is engrossed in the experience of living. Children have it easy because everything is new to them but as adults, we can still take wonder in the world by priming our brains to pay attention to all of the possible wonderful things that are everywhere just waiting to be discovered.
There are many things you can do to be a child in an adult world while still maintaining all of your responsibilities and doing good for the world. In fact, doing these things will make the world an even better place. Forget to do these small things at the expense of your own positive experience and your undiscovered bright environment you could be a part of.