Thursday, October 7, 2010

Through the eyes of a child

Children are honest; they see past the pretense and into the soul. The father of one of my students is a soldier in Afghanistan. His child had always seen him clean-shaven, but for this mission he grew a full beard (with a bit of white in it.) The mother showed the boy his father's photo and hesitantly asked, "What do you notice about Daddy?" The little boy replied, "Daddy's happy smile."

If only we adults could get past the surface. I had an older neighbor whose philosophy on race relations was that almost all people under six and over sixty-six rarely judge others on color, because they have the same concerns and more similarities than differences during those periods in their lives. She said, "Walk into any preschool, kindergarten or nursing home and you'll notice the occupants all have the same needs."

In school as we compare leaves for our autumn unit, I pick up two apparently different leaves and ask, "How are these things the SAME?" Too often people of all ages immediately seek obvious differences. In my classroom I encourage children to notice likenesses first. I guess my lessons are paying off, because we were out at recess and some of the children came up to me with twigs and sang "MY" song, "Tell me, tell me if you can, same or differen't in my hand?"

As you go about your day, deliberately notice someone who is obviously different from you and then, in your mind discover all of the ways that you are similar. That's hard to do when you see a gang member with droopy drawers, or a crazy young/old driver ... well you get it. Please share your experience.


Catherine West said...

What great thoughts, Linda!

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing the wisdom of children, Linda. Also, for stopping by my blog and commenting. You are always so very welcome. Susan

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear! What a wonderful message, Linda! Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

OK, I just researched "Hear, hear!" and "Here, here!" Found it both ways on the web, but The Phrase Finder shows "Hear, hear" as correct: So does IT Knowledge Exchange.

I feel better now. Hear, hear! Great message, Linda! (Would you have questioned this, too?)

Linda O'Connell said...

Welcome! Wish I were in Bermuda :) Thank you for your comment. Stop by again.

Linda O'Connell said...

Yes, children say the darndest things, for sure. They are so innocent and honest.

Linda O'Connell said...

Thank you for your comment. I;ve always heard it as Hear! Hear!, but I hear you either way. I probably would have questioned it AFTER I hit the post button.