“Childish.” A word commonly used to refer to someone who is irresponsible or has a lack of maturity. Often followed by a cry of “grow up!”
But that’s unfair. That’s saying that children don’t know anything about responsibility. Give them more credit than that!
Children are clever. Give a child a curfew and they’ll know what time they’re supposed to return. Send them on an errand and they’ll know what needs doing. Tell them to look after the class pet and they’ll do so, with plenty of enthusiasm to boot! So come on now – of course children know responsibility. They can be responsible if they want to.
“But children don’t have grown-up responsibilities!” You’re right. They don’t. But why does that make a difference? Responsibility is in the actions, not in the duty. Having a responsibility does not equal being responsible. Just because they don’t have those responsibilities, it doesn’t make them any less responsible.
And let’s be real – there are adults with ‘grown-up responsibilities’ who aren’t responsible. We could call them childish, but again, that’s an unfair description. That isn’t what ‘childish’ is about.
Being childish means having a much simpler way of looking at things. It means de-clouding your head and seeing what’s there right in front of you. It means being inquisitive, looking up from the ground and taking a real look at the world. It means not being afraid of a little rain and greeting the outdoors anyway.
Being childish means putting fun into everything you do. Or if you can’t, then make time for it. Fun is the objective. It means falling into your imagination, jumping in the snow making snow angels, climbing trees and not being self-conscious of all those people walking past who see you (though if you dared to look back at them, most of them are smiling at you… err, but I wouldn’t know anything about that ).
Being childish means focusing on the here and now. Children don’t overthink the future or the past. They glance both ways but remember where they are right now. Do what you can today, make the most of it. Our todays are the building blocks that form our yesterdays and build our tomorrows. Like wise children once said, summer belongs to you.
Maybe people don’t call it “childish.” Maybe it’s called “being child-like” or “embracing your inner child”. The terminology isn’t important – it’s the concept.
So here’s a secret. Every one of us has a special ability, one that just needs waking up. The ability to grow up and yet keep our childish heart.
If we all followed the logic of childish = irresponsible, well then, I must have never been a child! (said the goodie goodie, never-break-the-rules-at-school girl) 🙂