I am a firm believer in a child’s ability to teach us a thing or two about almost anything important in life. With their no-frills, simplistic approach to any number of pertinent or sensitive topics, we, at times, see perfect examples of common sense at play.
This manner of living is captured perfectly in an ad recently put out by the BBC, in which small children are paired up beside their friends and asked, “What makes you two different from each other?”
Naturally, most of the children placed side-by-side are visibly different, as most adults would immediately notice. Whether it be gender, skin color, height or something else, to my grown up eyes, there are differences in each pair.
But the part that is most striking is that most of the children’s answers are miles away from my own. They don’t have anything to do with the things mentioned above.
Some of the most adorable responses, aside from all of the “ummm”s and pauses, are,
“I have smaller toes than Artie.”
“He lives in a house that doesn’t have squirrels in the room. We have squirrels in the loof…roof. SO we can’t watch television that much because it’s biting all the wires.”
And, my personal favorite, from the two little boys who are dressed exactly alike, even wearing similar glasses: they struggle the entire time, in near silence, to think of anything about them that is different. They skip, hop, twiddle their thumbs and their eyes wander, until finally, one of them exclaims that he’s good at “tig” while the other, Matthew, is good at “staying in den”. We’re not quite sure what that means, but it’s adorable nonetheless!
The video closes with the line, “When it comes to difference, children see things differently.” And boy, do they. Kids aren’t born dwelling on the things that we don’t have in common. They don’t draw lines in the sand when the person next to them looks or speaks differently than they do. They get to know them and notice their likes and dislikes, their talents and habits. That’s how I want to live, too.
Rachel is a wife and mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a fan of good coffee, wearer of gray t-shirts, and is constantly starting books she will never finish. Her family is her joy, and she loves to engage with other moms and dads on matters of parenting. Her blog posts have also been featured on the Today Show Parenting Blog and Scary Mommy.