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CHILDRENS


TITLE: Through the Eyes of Children
By Lyn Ruth
11/03/08
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An essay about the captivating innocence of children and how they see the world... and how the Christmas spirit can capitalize on the wonder of a child.
Christmas and childhood...the seasons for giving, of forgiving, and more ---

Childhood is a time of curiosity and much learning. It is also a time of innocence, of simplicity.... when being judgmental is unheard of, when there is no guile or hatred.

Children may bite or chew anything because it is their way of knowing if something is edible or not. They may tear anything apart including your favorite book or an expensive piece because they want to find out what anything is made up of or how durable something is. They may even do anything just for the sake of doing it... no reasons, no need for explanations, no qualms about analyses or theories, no concern about what the world may say or think...

When children are scolded, whether the intention is valid or not, they will cry or frown or even become grouchy momentarily. But afterwards, they will come running back to you, embrace you and give you their sweetest smiles. No, they are not concerned about restoring their "reputation" or your "trust" in them. It's just that they no longer remember your anger and resentment just a short while back.

Children are carefree... when they unknowingly throw all their cares to the wind. You will know that children had "invaded" a place when you see one small shoe under the staircase, chocolate fingerprints on a white tablecloth, a toy car with a missing tire or a doll with a blind eye, a priceless vase on the verge of falling down from the edge of a living room table, Christmas balls hanging everywhere except on the Christmas tree, barely eaten candies sticking on the carpet, wet and muddy floors, leftover milk in the kitchen sink and on the cushions, a stuffed dog, and some very exhausted adults.

The world becomes a better place to live in because of the sounds of children's laughter, their out of tune singing, their oft repeated questions showing curiosity, their squeaking sandals and screaming toys, their sometimes muted look, and their gluey, warm touch.

But then there are children of war, hungry children, street children, children begging, children psychologically and physically abused, out-of-school children, traumatized children, abandoned and neglected children, and suffering children beyond redemption. These children who are deprived of happy childhood grow up with bitterness and broken spirits. They can become the menace of society. Through their eyes everything is vile and ugly. However, if given the chance to emerge from their deplorable situations, these children readily forgive and forget. Such is the virtue of children. As Maria Montessori once said, "A child endures all things."

And through the eyes of children who are loved and cared for, no matter where they come from, there is beauty everywhere. There is always hope. They do not measure joy and contentment with wealth and knowledge. They do not care about popularity. They don't even see the color of your skin or the shape of your eyes. They desire sincerity. Children can easily spot a phony. That means, when you make a promise, you have to honor your word.

During these holidays of fun and sharing, it may help to steer clear of fancy adornments and duty-bound gift giving and celebrations. Instead, it is best to look through the eyes of children and you will see "the morning of life is like the dawn of a day, full of purity, visions, and harmony." (Chateaubriand)
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