10 Things I Wish We Could Teach Every Child
Life is about growth and evolution. With every generation, we advance in knowledge and improve our quality of life.
The best growth opportunities can be disguised as challenges and hard times. Would we be where we are today if we didn’t go through our own struggles in life?
What about the new generation? Would you want them to experience our pains and struggles to find their own path? Or would you want them to learn from our accumulated experiences?
My thought is: save our youth some time and give them a few pointers. Maybe they will take the advice. Maybe they won’t. But why not give them the opportunity to learn from our mistakes, and start their journey into adulthood from a more evolved place than we did?
If you stopped for a minute and thought about your life experiences and the lessons you learned so far, what would you want to tell the younger generation? What are the things you wish you knew when you were younger?
If I had a choice to communicate with every child in this world, in every language, I would want them to know the following:
1. No one is perfect.
Every human being makes mistakes. We all have something we don’t like about ourselves. The important thing is—accept this as part of being human. Don’t look for the flaws in your self or in others. Look for the beauty and ability instead, and your life will always be full of wonder.
2. Love is the most powerful thing we can give and receive.
Nothing can match the love you receive from your parents, your siblings and friends. You are most alive when you feel the love that connects you with other human beings. Love is our nature. Be love and give love. It is within you.
3. When you hurt someone, you hurt yourself.
When you make fun of someone, you will regret it later. When you physically hurt someone, the experience will haunt you. Making others suffer is never the solution. When you face a violent situation, try to find a peaceful way to deal with it. Be kind and see the kindness in others.
4. You are truly one of a kind.
You are complete the way you are. You are a unique person. Everything you need to be happy is within you. You don’t need to impress any one or to explain yourself to others. Don’t expect others to have to explain themselves to you either.
Don’t try to fit in and don’t expect others to do it. When you try to blend in, you lose yourself and the joy in your life.
5. Listen to your gut feeling.
Do things that feel good and excite you. Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right. Follow your heart. You are doing it now, so don’t stop doing it when you grow up.
6. Loss is part of life.
With life and love, there is always a chance to lose someone we love or something we enjoy. It is OK to go through these painful experiences. You will have people around you who will support you and give you the strength to move on.
7. You always have a choice.
Don’t do anything because you have to. Do things that you want to do. When you are a child you may not know what’s best for you. So you will follow the advice of adults. But when you grow up, you will have the wisdom to know for yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
8. Make the most of every minute of your life.
Do one thing at a time and do it well. When you are doing anything, remember what it feels like now when you just enjoy coloring or playing games. Have a blast working and playing and make the best of every thing you do.
9. Forgive and let go.
When you make a mistake, don’t be too proud to admit your fault. Apologize to the other person if you can. Forgive yourself and let it go. Remember we are all human—there isn’t one human being out there who never made a mistake.
If someone hurt you, remember: they are human too and they make mistakes. Forgive them just as you would want them to forgive you.
If you tried something and it didn’t work out, learn from it and move on. There is no failure in life. Be grateful for the fun you had and the lessons you learned. Let go and move on to the next adventure in your life.
10. Give with all your heart.
When you are with your family or friends, give them all your attention. When you are helping others, do the best you can and give as much as you can afford. You can give money, spend time with others, or you can listen to someone who needs to talk. But the most precious gift you can give is: love.
Love everyone around you. It is contagious. The more love you give, the more you spread it around the world.
I have tried to use the simplest form of language possible, imagining that I’m talking to a six year old. The truth is: there is a child within all of us. The advice that reaches the depth of our inner child may have the biggest impact on our lives.
So don’t forget to reflect on your experiences with your inner child and all the children around you. This is how we change the world—one child at a time.
How about you? What lessons do you want to share with your younger self or the kids of today?