Monday, March 06, 2017

The Girl at Tesco

I was pushing myself down an aisle at Tesco here in Newcastle and I was slowing down because a young man with a little girl was standing, texting something into this phone. The little girl was looking at me coming, looking at the space that was left for me and then looking back up at her dad, he was oblivious all but his phone. As I got closer, I heard her call to her 'Daddy' to get his attention. I don't think he heard her and I saw a wee bit of annoyance cross her face.

I was slowing to a stop when she called up, "Daddy, you are standing that that man's way." I liked the firmness with which she spoke, not rude but assertive. He looked down at her and then over at me. I was stopped then and I smiled and waved.

"Oh, sorry," he said, "I was just ..." and then he realized that the sentenced didn't need finishing and he just shrugged. "Daddy," she said, "you have to look out for other people." This kids vocabulary was big but her heart even moreso. I told her as I rolled by that I appreciated her watching out for me. She suddenly got very shy and whispered a 'welcome' back to me.

It was such a nice interchange with a nice little kid. I liked it, but it also reminded me that the issue of watching out for others is something that is something that little kids understand so easily.

Pity that this kind of thing is called, disrespectfully, 'the innocence of children.' Because it's not, it's the wisdom of children. It shows were we all have come from and where we all could, if we wished, return.

4 comments:

bdqbdq said...

We start out so good 😊

Rachel S said...

It's odd how young children seem to be able to grasp the idea of "some adults have growth issues and are extra extra short but are totally adults" better than some of their parents. I guess they haven't learned that people who are physically different aren't as human as the rest yet.

Let's hear it for young kids, and let's teach them that we're all equally human and all in this life thing together.

Unknown said...

out of the mouths of babes come words of wisdom.
i imagine children can be very aware of how much a cell phone distracts an adult from the world around him...how often I see an adult on a phone and a child or children looking bored or distressed at the lack of attention they are receiving from the adult who is supposedly 'caring' for them. that sort of 'absent presence' is not healthy.
clairesmum

Jodiebodie said...

Your story reminds me of a little book written many years ago called "Everything I need to know, I learned in Kindergarten" and elaborates on the very point you make here.
I agree with previous respondents that children are so accepting of difference. Look around at any middle school class group to see the variation in size and shape and growth patterns and abilities. Children see it all the time. They can usually describe the special skills or strengths of their classmates and appreciate the human qualities in each other and work together. The adult world, on the other hand, is rife with discrimination and value judgments that serve to exclude various groups rather than appreciate that everyone has innate value, strengths, talents and skills to offer.
The fact that children can understand tolerance and acceptance yet adults have no idea when left to their own devices, tells me that adults need just as much guidance, education and reinforcement as children.
Supportive classroom environments are guided by effective teachers with the support of the school community. Perhaps it is time that the chosen leaders in our adult world took real action and guided their communities to a more supportive and tolerant society, starting by leading by example and modelling positive behaviour and creating legislative change.
The fact that children can understand tolerance and acceptance yet adults have no idea when left to their own devices, tells me that adults need just as much guidance, education and reinforcement as children.