For all of my life I have loved working with children and making a difference in their lives no matter how big or small. Kids man, they get it. They understand me in ways that people my own age do not. Each day when I saw the smiling face of a child, I am filled with the reassurance that life is not all that bad, and some day these children will be the ones to make a difference in the world. Each day kids teach me more about myself than I could ever discover, and they constantly continue to teach me things about life and open my eyes to the world in ways that I have never thought to identify. Children have taught me six main lessons that encourage me to be the best version of myself each and every day, and I want to share them with you in the hopes that you will pass them on to the rest of the world.
1. Acceptance of others
No two children are alike. No two human beings are alike for that matter, and children make that easy to understand. Sometimes, accepting difference or change is hard because as a society we have become so accustomed to the norms of our everyday lives. Today, children are coming from different walks of life, with different family customs, traditions and backgrounds, and in order to embrace equality amongst all, we must learn to encompass the culture and differences of each child into the larger whole of the group. Children are naturally accepting of others, despite their differences, and this is one of the most important lessons that I have learned from them
2. Having patience, and how hard it can be to keep sometimes
Patience is a virtue, and when working with children it is something that you need loads of in order to get through the day. When kids are younger, they ask a lot of questions, sometimes the same ones more than once, and it can get extremely frustrating. However, their curiosity is beautiful and it is something that we should stop taking for granted. We need to take those questions as moments of learning, teaching and opportunities to the exposure of the world and all the magnificent things it has to offer. Having patience can be hard, but children enable us with the endless opportunities to practice it each and every day.
3. Being imperfect is okay
Children are accepting of all things no matter their size, shape or color, and they teach us that even if someone or something does not fit the mold of perfection that society has created, that they are still worthy and just as valuable as everyone else. I am certainly not perfect, but each moment that I get to spend with children not only at my job, but throughout the world in general makes me feel important. When I go to work with no makeup on and the messiest hair style, I feel beautiful, because I know that those kids do not care what I look like, they just want me for me, and that makes me sure that it is okay to be who I am, with my imperfections included.
4. Every day is a new start
Each child will have a bad day now and then, and they will do their time in the time out chair once and awhile. Bad days do come, but for kids they pass just as quickly. For adults, including myself, sometimes it is hard to let go of the past and forget about the mistakes you have made in order to move forward. For children, it is a different story. They can have the worst day ever and nothing will go right for them, but once they shut their eyes and wake up the next morning, it is a new day, and a new start in their life. It is one of the hardest things to do, but it is important to follow these children in the idea that each day is a new start, the past is the past, and the best thing that we can do in order to maintain our own happiness is move forward.
5. Laughter is the best medicine
Life is too short to take everything so seriously, and kids are the living proof of that. Even in the most serious of times, kids have a broad smile upon their faces. Laughing is important because it allows our brains to free themselves from thinking and making endless decisions and just take a break and relax. When I am sad, mad or angry, seeing those children smile and laugh makes me do the same, and it is one of the crucial parts to a successful day for me.
6. You are never too old to color
It does not matter if you are five years old or twenty, coloring is one of the most relaxing and fulfilling activities that you can take part in. Kids always love to color, and they love even more when they have someone to color alongside them. I will never turn down the opportunity to color because it allows me to channel my emotions onto paper, whatever they may be. Kids, especially when they are younger, tend to color outside of the lines, and to me that is the most magical part of it all. These lines are set there on the paper as a direction of where to color and where not to color. These children do not worry about those lines and they design the page however their hearts desire. Kids have taught me to color outside of the lines and use my imagination to it’s fullest capacities. They have taught me to discover something new and follow my own path, wherever it may lead, even if it is off of the suggested page.