THE BLOG

What We Can Learn From Those We Teach

09/02/2016 13:00 GMT | Updated 05/02/2017 10:12 GMT

Usually, when I see a video on Facebook, I either laugh loudly and genuinely or I question the seconds that I had wasted on what was a meaningless and moronic clip. Last weekend my sister sent me a video of a young girl who secretly, without any remorse, cut uneven portions of her hair with the poise and confidence of an award-winning hair stylist. Naturally, I smiled at the young girl's naïveté, but, I also questioned the aged tradition of 'growing up,' and whether parents teach their children on the basis of meeting customary societal demands like having an acceptable hairstyle. Whether it be positive or negative, it certainly is obvious that so much of what we know is engrained into our memories by those who cared for us as children. But, what can we, as adults, learn from the free spirited children that we teach?

That innocent smile on the young girls face, from the video illuminates a childlike characteristic that should be preserved and understood instead of moulded with time. Children have an organic capacity for learning based on the absence of prejudgments associated with historically established forms of racism, sexism and ageism. In modern times, the way in which parents view the world begins to subtly hinder certain aspects of their child's natural and creative development. For example, if a family has conservative values, a boy who shows interest in a female doll at a toy store will most likely be swayed into buying a truck or something more masculine. This incident in a child's life will create a specific misconception surrounding what boys should like based on a societal stereotype; even though the attraction toward a 'girl' toy is completely normal. Families continue to employ subtle traditional roles for their children that subconsciously characterise what a person should be like in the future. It seems obvious for the untainted eyes of children, however, adults find it harder to accept people for being their natural selves.

The answer to the title of this piece is quite straightforward because children represent honesty and purity in a world filled with corruption and lies. We enter this world unaware of societal expectations. However, as time goes by we begin to form opinions through understanding history, oppression and prejudice. Through observing the purity of children and using that as a metaphorical formula to measure how we should act in everyday life, it is possible that we the people of this world can peacefully prosper. Children cry when they are sad, smile when they are silly, and laugh when the world makes them happy. The spirit of a child is simple, but obscured by the harsh reality of the adult perception toward the 'real-world'.

As I scroll through my newsfeed on Facebook today, I see a myriad of commentary on the American presidential race. I keep watching a montage video of Donald Trump, the possible republican nominee for president, notoriously condemning Muslims and belittling other minorities. As I see this, I think of that little girl who happily chopped off her hair simply because she wanted to. Her progressive and oddly enlightened outlook on life, along with many other children around the world, shows how an accepting attitude toward others and a liberal mind-set when it comes to the way we conduct our lives is vital for the future of a tolerant society. So, when in doubt speak with clarity and impartiality just like a child.

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