Posted by: gotrain | August 25, 2008

The Brilliance of a Child & Lessons for Adults

Yesterday I took my granddaughter Vynetta to the beach and then for dinner. She is an amazing six year old (I know I’m biased), extremely inquisitive and a joy to be with. She loves learning and being with people and is also very sensitive.

After the beach we went for dinner and talked. She was staying at a friends house and was telling me that her friend was not being so nice to her because she had another new friend who was over to play as well. I asked Vynetta how she felt about the way her friend was treating her and her expression changed to a sad look and she said she didn’t like it. But in the next breath she just shrugged it off and said she understood her friend and that she could deal with it.

What I found interesting was the way she responded to my questions and to the situation with her friend. If I would compare this with how many adults would respond I think it would be quite different. You see we have learned some weird behaviours while growing up such as jealousy, revenge, blaming, back stabbing etc. And when things don’t go our way with some people or we feel slighted, we tend to call up these behaviours and then go on justifying them to any welcoming ear.

These types of behaviour happen all the time at home, with friends and acquaintances and at work. In fact this is probably the cause of most conflicts and it absolutely puts a damper on productivity. Because not only do you now have a reason to talk behind someones back but you also have a good excuse for not being productive. Think of how much time people waste just talking about these negative things.

Yet here is a six year old displaying a greater maturity and understanding than most adults would. She not only showed compassion and understanding for her friends behaviours toward her, she was still ready to go back to her house for more play and to have a good time.

Perhaps the learning we need to have as adults is to unlearn and discard all the negative conditioning our past has piled onto and into us. We can do this by questioning how we respond to others who we perceive as negative towards us and choose a better and more mature way to respond. That could be simply to let the person know with respect, how their behaviour makes us feel and provide suggestions for change. Of course the other person needs to listen too and this is not always the case. But most people when treated with respect and compassion will respond likewise. Those that don’t may not be worth having as friends and co-workers. It’s true you do not always choose all of your co-workers but you can influence the situation and if you are the boss, you need not tolerate the immature behaviours that some people have learned to use.

Personal development in this case is learning to let go of what does not work and cultivate the qualities that we all appreciate in our children.

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