Friday, October 12, 2012

31 days: On lessons learned from children

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I am joining the Nester plus quite a few other bloggers in a 31 day writing challenge. You can write about whatever you want, and I choose to write on the search for a Spirit-led life. Join me, won't you?

To start reading from the beginning, and for links for all days, click here.

On lessons learned from children
Today is children's day in Brazil. As it is a self proclaimed catholic country (who gets to pick that?), it is also the patron saint day, which means it's a national holiday with no work and school. To honour the kids, I'd like to share three lessons I learned from being surrounded by kids all day.
Lesson #1 - It's all small potatoes
Kids can cry over the silliest things. Bumping into a friend. Cutting on the wrong dotted line. Not being the first one to grab the purple crayon. Having to wait their turn to get a toy. As grown ups, we look and think oh, come on, that is nothing to cry about!
Sometimes I think that is how God feels when we start fussing. Someone hit my car. I lost my job. That cute boy asked my friend out, not me. It's like we don't realise that there are things just as good, if not better, still available to us. As my friend (yeah right, as if she knew who I was) Lisa-Jo says, there is room for all of us in the kingdom.
Lesson #2 - How distractions work
I am always surprised as how children can easily be distracted. A child can be hiperventilating from crying so much, yet all it takes is a oh, wow, look at THIS! to get them to stop immediately. All of a sudden, they can't even remember what they were crying about.
I can relate. I can have the best intentions, yet when distractions come (and, boy, do they  come!) I let go of what I held onto. All of a sudden I am attacking my husband even though I vowed to be nice. I am fuming at my coworker regardless of my decision to show her Christian love. It's just so easy to fall into that trap. Too bad usually kids get distracted from pain by something good, and we tend to do just the opposite!
Lesson #3 - Kindness solves everything
No matter how many times I've messed up and told off a kid, how many times they told me they were angry at me, or how much I wanted to wring their necks. Everytime I offered a kind truce (usually involving stickers, cookies, a hug or some special attention) it's like all my mistakes never took place. Kids don't hold on to our past mistakes like grown ups do. They don't use it as ammunition to throw it on our faces later on. When you say you're sorry and a kid says 'ok' (because you should totally apologise to a child when they deserve it), they really mean 'ok'. Just like I do. Yeah, right.
I trully believe children have something special about it, which shows me just how we are inherently made the way God wants us to. We just seem to forget it along the way.