We all have different histories, but we share the same goals. Each of us wants a chance for a happy, healthy, and hopeful future. There’s a lot to be said for the fact that kids need the same things adults need; no matter where they come from and where they are today.
As I watch my son closely, I take note of what he indulges in, what he’s curious about, how he approaches things from one moment to the next and how he responds to his vulnerabilities. Children think differently than adults. That’s a fact. So, what exactly does my child see?
There is so much to be learned and gained from the fundamental ways in which a child thinks.
Lesson #1 from a Child: Be present in the moment.
Being in the presence of a child, gifts me the ability to be more present in my life. Living in the digital age, technology has us all inundated with so much information and creates constant distractions. When we seize the opportunity to become present, we live a more meaningful life. As adults, we waste our present because we are preoccupied with time — reliving the past and worrying about the future. Children truly enjoy every moment for what it is. It’s important that we keep our thoughts about the past and future in proper balance.
As Archbishop Fulton Sheen points out: “We are to leave the past to divine mercy and to trust the future, whatever its trials, to God’s loving providence. The Now-moment is the moment of salvation.” https://catholicexchange.com/living-the-present-moment-the-wisdom-of-archbishop-fulton-sheen
Lesson #2 from a Child: Connect emotionally with others.
Children instinctively have a desire to connect with family and others. They are driven to connect through common interests, shared emotions such as laughter or tears, and experiencing moments where they can detach from any care in the world. When we are disconnected, inter-family problems that affect our children can occur or reoccur and escalate quickly.
Lesson #3 from a Child: Contribute to the family or community
We need to encourage our children that not only are they safe at home, but that they have a place in the community as well. Perhaps is it a life occurrence that triggers the child to take on more responsibility, or calling to help others, even at a time when we feel we have nothing to offer and no matter what age we are. The desire to become an independent contributor to the family or community on some level gives each of us a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
Lesson #4 from a Child: Live more from the heart.
When we transfer the focus and power of our thoughts into our hearts, it is then that we can truly begin to feel our feelings, like a child does. An actual shift in our adult mindset has to occur in order for this to happen. I had to consciously decide to change how I allow my inner voice to speak to me. Living more from the heart, frees me from the self judgement that limits me from experiencing my true self, and encourages me to be loving, encouraging and compassionate towards as well as myself.
During this Lenten season, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the fact that we are all vulnerable… as children and as adults and so many in our community on a much larger scale. Let us acknowledge and embrace that there is so much to be learned through the eyes of a child. We must keep focused on the virtue of hope as we anticipate the Easter promise. It’s hope that will get us through our darkest days and guides us to the light of the resurrection and restoration.
See more of the world through the eyes of a child, and the many hopes and dreams that we all have in common: https://youtu.be/DSn-sJ8SHMU