Sunday, 10 June 2012

We Should Learn From Children

Yesterday, the 10th of June 2012, I sat at the Aga Khan Walk of Nairobi and watched children—and teenagers— skate. I have always loved skating. I remember being introduced by it by my cousin, Sammy Situma, in 2004. I remember, with nostalgia, how I first wore the roller blades and could not walk an inch because I was afraid of falling. But after a few days, I had learnt how to skate. Yesterday, watching children learn the ‘baby steps’ in skating was so enlightening and profound; enlightening because they are the little things we learn from children and profound because there are very important life lessons that these children taught me.


Children are enthusiastic and ready to learn. They wouldn’t mind stretching a hand for help.
Most of us don’t— unfortunately.

They will be keen to learn the ropes, to take that initiative, that step of faith.
For us, again, our feet are frozen in indecision.

And they will exude confidence if given the opportunity. This is the march of life. Just watch the determination and oomph on this little girl’s face. What about the purposefulness burning in her eyes?

And she knows, too, that a friend might fall sometimes and would need help. This is instinctive. Though she is still a learner and is “without resources”, she still has the willingness to help. She does not wait for the instructor to fix things. She does not look on helplessly. She just helps. Now, that is so profound.

But, sometimes, it happens that we don’t need to go it ourselves. She knows that too. It is as if she is whispering to her friend she is holding: ‘Friend, let us walk together. We might be learners but we need each other’. In life, we need friends. We are not lone rangers. We will walk with them in this life.

We need sometimes to pause and observe. We need rest. That way we help our bodies to re-energize and our minds to learn from others. If you come to think about it, life is not about uninterrupted actions but of intermittent breaks that helped us drive inspirations from our innermost selves and careful observation of what surrounds us.

But like humans we are, we fall. We are frail, transient.

We fall,

 again, again, again.

But, fellow pilgrims,

We know that every time we fall, we need to wake up. So, we firmly fix our palms on the tarmac, summon energy within ourselves and rise up. Yes, rise up. That is the spirit we have. We do that cheerfully.

And boy, what a cheer it brings to us when we are in control of things again. But at such times, we need a helping hand because though we might be down we are not out.

We admit that there would be uncertainties in life. We might not be sure what tomorrow holds or whether what we do today will add up to the philosophy we espouse in life. But we stand at this moment in time, all geared up sizing up life with glance of our eyes.

Then we do it, somehow, even if timidly so. But this life, if you come to think about it, fellow pilgrim, is all about timidity. Those who look at life as a butterfly are those who will not chase it away by swat of their arms. The brave and those who chest-thumped, while these attributes are great and laudable, could sometimes lose vital lessons in life of patience and humility.

We do it, our own way. There is no perfect formula in everything we do ourselves. Some are sharp and quick-witted. Others are slow. Some are loud. Others are reserved. We all learn how to do things in our own way. We are all unique.

If I pull your shirt, fellow pilgrim, don’t be offended. 

Sometimes I need to get my balance from you. You have been in this game for sometime now and though my pulling you back might hold you back for a moment, we all grow and become better skaters in this life.

You are our mentors. We are your protégés. We might be young and new in all this but we will be patient to learn from you— your moves, your instructions, your mild rebukes. We will take everything with the bigness of the heart.

And it is after a short while that we will roller-skate like the real pros. Such is life, fellow pilgrim, a skateboard. The spring in our feet and willingness to learn is what sets us apart. After a couple of false starts, much learning and enthusiasm, life rewards us.


The Unknowngnome said...

Skate on my friend! Your words and pics are priceless!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wise words. You gained a lot of inspiration from the children. I love the photos!!!!!

echoesofthehills said...

Thank you so much TUG. Very much humbled, as always.

echoesofthehills said...

Thank you Koko. We can learn so much from children. I always do and they never cease to educate me. Yes, the photo clicks are on, he he.

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