I haven’t actually read The Little Prince. I remember going to see the film with my school at the Filmhouse (I think?) many moons ago. But I love this quote.
Grown-ups rarely understand anything. And it is tiresome for children to always be explaining things to them.
Children just have this way of seeing things from a unique perspective. Becoming sarcastic, jaded, prejudiced…these are all things I think that children learn. A few months ago I watched my friend’s wee girl make a friend in a bookshop cafe. The girls were from different cultures, spoke different languages, had different skin tones. They didn’t care. They just shared admiration for the ‘special toys’ that they’d been allowed by their mothers to bring with them and shared them with each other. They didn’t need words – they communicated without sharing a language and proceeded to chase each other and play around the cafe.
There are times in the last year where I’ve been down in the dumps. And usually the only people that have been able to bring me out of my funk without even trying are my friends’ kids! Whether it’s Miss Sweetroot sending me a picture excited about the teeny koala she got free in the latest edition of the Jacqueline Wilson Magazine, the Jambino making me go down the slide designed for under 10s at the Zoo, Princess Monkey crowning me with a pink sequinned cowboy hat, Mr Teapot showing me his newest gymnastics tricks or the Mini Kahuna telling us he doesn’t think he can be the next Jon Foreman because he plans to be a Power Ranger…yep. Kids are just awesome.
I’ve lost count of the times their wisdom has thrown me. Miss Sweetroot and Elastaboy have always been particularly gifted at catching me off guard with their questions or commentary on the world. It does not shock me to see how people are learning from Robby Novak (aka Kid President) and his guide to being awesome. Nor does it shock me to see how much people are learning from a frank and articulate wise teenager called Malala Yousafzai (I wonder if Malala grows tired from all the explaining to the “grown ups” she is still having to do).
So often, we can look at kids and think what they are doing is crazy. Yet we watch and wait and somehow it can all end up making perfect sense once we stop looking at it from our weary adult perspective and look at it from theirs.
Something we should maybe do a lot more often…