Posted October 10th, 2007 and filed in Education, Human Mind, Life

A child is always curious and open-minded. He never tries to fit either himself or the external world into a set frame of reference. He adapts without making a fuss. He never assumes he has known enough, or has known better than what things really are.

A child is soft, relaxed, fluid. He completely trusts himself to be taken care of by this universe. He is vulnerable, so he does not stress himself out trying to protect himself from adversities. What happens, happens. Meanwhile, when he is alive, he is busy learning and enjoying life. There is no perceived limit, no planned goal, only endless joy. He is happy without having much. At the same time, he sets no limit to his perceived capability, his ongoing growth, and his wild dreams.

Adults have lost such an ability. We think we have learned enough, because we have spent the entire first half of our life learning about facts and rules and boundaries, and settled our mind and life based on and within them. When things go beyond our expected way, we adults, who have long stopped learning, become really confused and make a bigger fuss than necessary inside the self. Our minds and attitudes are too hardened. We panic when we cannot find an image to attach ourselves to. Every time we wake up from sleep, we figure out who we are first, then go on to go about life. We try to be something, something we can tell people and ourselves we are. We cannot not have a status, an identity. And we need various identities to define and confine ourselves from all sides and in all directions: I’m a professional, I’m a Christian, I’m a father of three, etc. Within such a framework we thought we were safe and solid, like a diamond. In fact, we are hard but vulnerable, easily broken, like a diamond.

A child is like a drop of water. A child endures failure and sickness and hardship without much ado, not holding back tears either. When all is passed, all is forgotten, and he faces life once again with no baggage or hindrance, still enthusiastic and intact. He merges into things he encounters, without restrictions or stereotypes, and comes out still purely himself, even more so with new self discovery.

The human beings who have reached real maturity are like children again. They have been able to acquire knowledge but have overcome its hindrance. They are eager to learn and are never held back by their social status. They may be the experts in their fields. When they speak, they speak with natural authority and people listen in awe. However, they are also the most curious. And they are happy, which is an indicator of ultimate wisdom.