I have learned quite a bit watching a tumbling toddler learn to navigate the world with her little steps and strides. While thinking about taking her next step, I can see her mind contemplating the benefits vs. risks—getting across the bridge on the play set and feeling an amazing sense of adventure but perhaps tripping, falling, and getting a scrape or bruise. She looks at me for assistance the first few times, and I gladly help her by swooping her up and carrying her across to the other side. Then she starts to gain some confidence. She slowly but surely takes her first step on the bridge—one foot after the other, she makes the trek to the other side; she does not fall. She gets to the other side with a huge grin on her face, now ready to take on the slide. She can do this.
As my little girl finds her way, I cannot help but notice that much of life’s most basic lessons can be taught by observing a 16 month old…taking risks and possibly getting hurt, trusting others in times of need, practicing exploration and spontaneity, gaining confidence, and feeling pure joy.
Similarly, I once heard “Everything I learned, I learned in kindergarten.” Children have a magical way of reminding us of the fundamentals in life—sharing, playing fairly, being kind, saying you’re sorry, saying please and thank you, and not stealing, just to name a few.
Perhaps we all need a little reminder from children once in a while on how to live simply and fully.