Culture — April 13, 2010
Child prodigy says the world needs “childish” thinking
In this delightful lecture, twelve-year-old prodigy advocates some of the basic values of a sane, cooperative, loving society. Her primary point is that a free society rightly embraces children and their gifts and similarly, wholeheartedly accepts and practically makes use of what tends to be dismissed as the “childish” disposition of irrationality and the free exercise of imagination.
She points out that we must not fear the unbridled energy and imagination that children (and adults we tend to disparage as “childish”) bring to life. Adora makes note that the heart of adult conceit towards children and the “childish” in anyone is rooted in fear, analogous to the fear-based origins of totalitarian cultures. She rightly suggests that any rigid system of “rules” that is rooted in this fear, which also can be perceived as the lack of trust between adults and children, prevents children’s feelings and desires from being felt and acknowledged, and thus their unique offerings to our culture are not able to be enjoyed and utilized.
Obviously adults must provide a circumstance of safety and protection for children–children are not equipped to be in charge of society. Adora is not without a dash of “child hubris” in her “revolutionary” stance. However, her clear and well-considered vision about the necessity for a cooperative relationship between adults and the young is a most fundamental established principle amongst the wisest of child rearing principles. History has proven that humankind cannot bring sane, loving, and intelligent humans into being through the enforcing of autocratic rules, but only through fully embracing the unique gifts that children bring to our lives (and anyone who, on the basis of our primitive fear of losing control, we presume requires restraint). Wise parents and educators function on the basis of the presumption of pleasurable unity and cooperation with children, whereby agreements are made about behaviors, along with obviously fundamental rules that protect children from their own tendency toward irrationality and exuberance.
Adora calls everyone to help create what is the foundation of every culture where children are happy and grow up to be well-adjusted adults whose gifts are bountifully given and received into the society. Such cultures fully embrace and enter into partnerships with children, with the wise and humble understanding that they are the future of the world. As Adora knows every being has the birthright of being loved and guided into developing their potential for realizing the utmost wisdom. Hooray for Adora for breaking through the boundaries of the rigid prejudices of “expertise” in our scientific-“adult”-mind-driven society, and for being willing to speak her feelings before the world of adults who are in desperate need of acknowledging and growing beyond their immaturities. As Adora points out, wisdom does not only come with age, and there is obviously much serious listening that all must do before we become truly wise. All who hear Adora’s message will undoubtedly listen much more closely the next time a child–or anyone whose ideas are fresh and different from their own–speaks to them. -the Blue OK
This is a very important book, especially for those with children or expecting them. Pearce discusses the phases every child goes through as they mature. Unfortunately, there seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding and ignorance with regard to children these days, from television overload to peer pressure to accelerated academic preparation - all potentially harmful because they tend to block a child's healthy development. . . If you want a plan to present your children with wisdom, if you seek the roadmap to unfold the mind of genius which lives in your child and in the children around you, this is a book you want to read.