Learning can come from children, tooContrary to all public perception, and some commonly accepted stereotypes, we can often a lot from our children. Such children do bring with them hugely successful moral values, are examples of good discipline and being all rounders, all the same time.
Very often, we find children who are just eight years old, teach their father small things, like keeping things in order, bringing about optimism in their thinking, or simply taking away all tension, through some good jokes.
Years ago, when I traveled from Chennai to Mumbai, I found a ten year old girl, totally immersed in her novel. That was an English novel, and she was totally unmindful of anything that was going on around her. Once in a while, she would answer her mother with respect, and dutifully have her food. Otherwise, she was always engaged with her novel.
The train stopped for over ten minutes at some station, at some relative entered the train. He congratulated the child for topping the class, and also mentioned how he appreciated the nice letter written by the child to her grandmother. He also congratulated the child for having learned singing and for the first prize she got in a competition.
With a great deal of interest, he asked the child," How do you find time for all this?". The child simply replied "I steal time". She explained that apart from the time she played with her friends, she would spend only ninety minutes for study, and exactly thirty minutes for singing. She would write the letters only in the night. "Those ten minutes is nothing, uncle", she explained.
This "uncle' seemed to be her maternal uncle. All the while, the parents did not even utter a single word.
That was strange to me. After the relative left the place, I turned around to the parents and asked them if they were not not proud of their daughter. They merely replied that she was a highly disciplined child and did appreciate any words of praise, But they did not do it every day.
The child simply smiled and went back to her reading. The discipline, her sharp replies, the respect that she gave to the relative, everything was so natural. This is exactly what we need to understand from children.
The phrase, " I steal time" still rings in my ears.
Yes, we can, and should learn from children.