Think Like a Child

Do you remember how you used to think as a child?

Most of us don’t.

childhood effervescence country girl play pretend steve henderson art

Children are the best teachers to show adults how to live simply, with trust and humility. Effervescence, original oil painting and art print by Steve Henderson.

Inoculated by the education and entertainment industries, we learned — while still far too young – to prize being cool over being honest. More important than what we actually thought and hoped and dreamed for was to look and act like a pretend person from a TV show, or better yet, an outrageously rebel rock star (honestly, who WOULDN’T want to be a rock star, idolized and worshiped by a mob of screaming fans?). At school, we venerated some figure from history, transformed into a fabulous role model by those weekly, condescendingly inane take-home inserts.

But there was a time before we were misled, when we played outside in a world that we created ourselves, in our own precious heads, as opposed to the world created for us by movies and TV. These were days when we were like the little girl in the painting, Effervescence, marching through the meadow with the purpose of play. It was a joyous time, a simple time, a time in which it was good enough to be just ourselves — and indeed, it didn’t cross our minds that we should be anybody else.

Those days, however, don’t last long, because our society spends a lot of time and effort teaching children that indeed, they are not good enough: their clothes are all wrong, their family drives the wrong kind of car, they themselves are not attractive enough, they’re not smart enough, they’re just not . . . something enough. It’s not just the businesses trying to sell us solutions to our many shortcomings who push at us; if we stumble our way into a church looking for the God we long for — the one who treasures and loves us, wrong clothes and car in all, because He made us — we hear the same message: we’re not good enough; we think wrong, act wrong, do wrong, and the only hope for us is that we come back week after week to buy the next message from the pulpit.

So . . . let’s stop for a moment and try to remember the way we thought as a child. And if that’s too far back, too buried in detritus to be found, then let us learn from children who are children today. Watch a very young child play. Listen to the things they say. Get down on their level and try to see the world the way they do.

Children possess a wisdom that we adults have lost — but they’re very very willing to teach us. All we have to do is listen.

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About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
This entry was posted in acceptance, children, Christian, Culture, Daily Life, Encouragement, Faith and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Think Like a Child

  1. Katrina says:

    Hi, thanks for the post, what a good reminder to slow down and look for the blessings in each day. I have found that home educating my children has had the effect of a reset button. Along with choosing the daily school work for the last 10 years, we have purposed to have free time each day; free unstructured time during which I do not tell my children how to spend their time. They learn to seek relationships with each other, the environment, and to enjoy the time. Rarely to they squabble, and if they do, they learn to work it out- a valuable skill. Home educating is not for everyone, I have sacrificed my painting career to do so. However, free time (unplugged), whether hiking a trail or playing in the sand or just sitting on a bench is a great way for a person to slow down and just breathe. The only risk is relaxing enough to think. Blessings to you.

    • Thank you, Katrina, for your kind words and your thoughts. We, too, homeschooled our four children (now grown), and it has made a deep, sweet difference in our lives together. We have shared much, and continue to do so, our relationship strong and good because we have spent so much time together. May you and your family continue in your beautiful relationship, reaching out to others in love and acceptance. There’s so, so, so much more to life that jumping on that treadmill and running to the rhythm of the propaganda machine!

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