I love the inquisitive nature of children. Every answer to a question leads to another question which leads to another and another. After an hour long conversation with a child you can find yourself feeling like Alice looking up from the depths of the rabbit hole. Granted, I don’t see my three year old solving business problems…just yet, there’s definitely something I’ve come to appreciate about the way her mind works.
Cora, my daughter, has the ability to straddle why and why not. She’ll ask why until you run out of answers. It’s that curiosity we often lack in our day to day lives. Too often we’re willing to accept the answers we receive and the status quo. After all, it’s easier to accept things for what they are, instead of asking why do they need to be that way? She challenges, pokes, prods, inspects, examines and finally finds satisfaction with the situation. I wish I could bottle up these years and spoon feed them to her in 25 years when life and work beats her into submission.
However, this skepticism, this need to know, this need for concrete answers doesn’t stop her from believing in the seemingly impossible. She switches gears with the swiftness of a race car driver and shifts into why not mode. Why can’t I wear pajamas to school? Why can’t I have breakfast for dinner? Indeed, why not? From her perspective nothing is set in stone, everything is an option, and she can do most anything. There eventually comes a point where we stop thinking why not? We stop believing in the amazing and accept that the only way to play it, is to play it safe. It’s a sad fact, but we often find ourselves no longer willing or able to dare to dream.
Yeah, kids can learn a lot from us. They’re always willing to learn. But, if you listen to them every once in a while, you just might yourself relearning how to think like a kid. And you know what? That’s a good thing.