Posted by: Shara | June 23, 2011

Children Bring Hope

Children Bring Hope

Show our children how to shape the future.
Teach them to see all sides, think on their own.
Understand that they bring hope and wisdom…
Visions of renewal, fulfilled in peace
That comes from forgiveness and compassion.

(This is an ABC poem.  The first line of the poem may start with any letter, but lines 2-4 must follow alphabetical order.  Last line may start with any letter.  It is supposed to only have one stanza, though sometimes poets take liberties.)

I had a response to this poem that so shocked me today, that I had to write about it.  Someone asked me “how can a child bring hope and wisdom?”  If anyone out there has responses to this, please answer as well.

I suppose that the first real dilemma is whether or not I, as the learning one, can see what lessons are there for me to learn.  The child doesn’t set out to teach me something.  I don’t expect him to be my teacher.  It is up to me to be open to seeing what is right in front of me.  My children teach me much, daily.  I believe this is because I accept that I have much to learn.  I know that they are innocent, peaceful, happy, and unconcerned.  These are all the things that I used to be once, before adulthood and the world came trouncing into my existence.

My view of children is that they have the handle on life.  All of the self help things I have heard or read, the psych classes that teach us about “ourselves,” and the suggestions that come from everyone who is learning to reach calm and peace within speak of the same things.  Slow down.  Enjoy life.  Take things one step at a time.  Notice the sunset.  Remember that it’s about them, and not you.  Accept yourself for who you are.  Don’t let others get you down.  Take time for yourself.  Love.  Forgive.  Be grateful.  Laugh.  In all of these sayings, they remind me of my children.  They climb trees, joke with their friends, laugh at themselves when they fall down, say thank you for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING (even when I don’t think of it sometimes!), play by themselves, love all of their family no matter how long it has been since they have seen them, stare at bugs, and stop to look up and find the moon.  They forgive in moments (and TRULY forget about it).  They are even concerned about complete strangers.

Looking at the mutual brain response from a brief moment between two people, everyone who has ever influenced a child, for good or bad, raise your hand!  (If anyone didn’t raise his hand, do so now.)  Every person has interacted with a child, even if it’s staring at them through a car window.  What both the adult and the child bring away from these interactions is what shapes that young joyfulness into the adult, and renews the adult with a breath of childhood… or creates the adverse and negative effects that still shape us.  We affect each other with each meeting, and we decide what we take away from it.

Sometimes we can know too much, it’s true.  My mother, as a nurse, said it’s harder to know what she does sometimes.  Fear sets in as she thinks of the worst, and then is assuaged when she is wrong.  But somewhere along the road, we learned that life was serious, and not fun at all.  Then we get older, and we set out for that old reflection of our lives.  (Is this doesn’t apply to you, then you ROCK!  SHARE YOUR SECRETS!)  We have to relearn what we already knew once.

I try not to break down my poetry for people, as I believe that they lose the chance to gain their own response to it.  In this case, though, I want the reader to see the message.  The first part is not about us filling up those little empty shells and teaching them things.  They come down with all the resilience and capabilities they need to learn, grow, and live.  (My children seem to be surviving me alright!)  But we DO make great guides, because we have been there before!  Experience definitely counts for something!  (Yes, sadly this means that we have to accept the fact that we are responsible for our actions as examples.)  And part of all this is believing in them from the very beginning.  Don’t worry about their futures.  If we offer what they need NOW, they will be able to handle their futures just fine.  Trust, faith, and belief in them are our three weapons against despair, fear, or uncertainty.

I found in my Montessori training, that those who are happy and peaceful around children, or who can smile and allow them their childhood, are the ones who are most at peace with themselves.  They see children as bright, wonderful people filled with potential.  Even children who might seem like brats, who might be “brats,” need to be given that chance to show who they can really be instead of buying into the idea that there is no hope for them.  Don’t give up on them, participate in their growth whenever possible, and lighten our world.

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