Heart of a Child

by Delete Me Please

Today I went ice-skating with the daughters of my mum’s friend. They were pre-school/primary school age.

I remembered the times when I was learning to skate during secondary school, it took me a whole lesson just to move very slowly. So I expected today to be nothing more than a failure. We booked our tickets for the 1600 session, and it was 1530; we got our skates on, and were ready for action! The youngest one (Sofia) was tired from walking, so I held her up to allow her to see the Zamboni (the ice resurfacer) work her magic. The attendants was also showing off their tricks, pretending to fall over and slide across the rink.

Sofia was excited and demanded frequently ‘I want to play NOW!’, to which I can only reply that there  are so many minutes left…there are so many minutes left. And the time finally came, we slowly crawled into the queue and saw the ice. I lifted her up and onto the ice, and before I even got on, she was already pulling me on to the ice! She has never skated on ice her entire life and yet she is pulling me on. Unbelievable.

It was not long before she fell over, but I was there to make sure her little fingers didn’t get ran over. Don’t want to imagine that. Every time I kneel down to ask if she’s OK, she would always smile, brush off the snow from her knees, and demanded that I hold her hand again.

There were these horrid things called ‘penguins’, short little statues that kids hold on to to ‘help them with balance’. In my opinion, they do nothing but to slow you down. But nonetheless, Sofia wanted one. Unfortunately for her, they’re £5 each and have been sold out a long time ago. She never let it go though, every 10 minute or so she would demand a ‘penguin’. Until finally, she saw an adult holding a penguin but not using it. She literally pulled me (remember that this is the first time she ice-skated) towards that penguin and implied that I should ask the adult for her. So I asked whether Sofia can play with the penguin for a minute, and the person kindly agreed. And so Sofia pushed the penguin around, and her face lit up until I couldn’t find her eyes, and then she let it go. I was surprised, she waited for a whole 40 minutes for a penguin, and when she got hold of it, knowing she can only have it for a short moment, gave it out voluntarily without complaining.

All day little Sofia was talking to me, I can barely make out one word from a hundred, but being with this little young one refreshed my day. It reminded me no matter what it is, you need to just go for it, without fear of failing or fear of mistakes. Don’t even think about it. Once you have decided to do something, be excited, be determined, be willing.

Don’t be afraid that you are new or inexperienced, just dive right in and do the best you can. Inspire the experienced people, let them see your drive, let them admire your efforts and determination. You might fail a lot, but take heart and continue trying. I can promise you that they will not see your failures, for they will be masked by your attitude, and will respect you that way.

Receive failure with a smile, brush off the pain or hurt, ask for your friends to help you, and have another crack. Do it again until you get it right.

When you have a worthwhile goal, stick to it and never let it go. Don’t let other people’s negativity bring you down. Don’t let your goal out of your sight. But what is more important is that when you reach that goal, don’t be reluctant to let it go in order to do better. So often we find a place we are comfortable with, and just stay there without any progress. Only when we realize that we are falling backwards do we pick ourselves up. So, remember to let go of the goals you have already achieved, no matter how long it took you to get there, you are there already, let it go so you can aim for another goal, a goal that will let you progress to be more successful, happier, richer, and/or a better person.

I have lived by this motto for as long as I can remember: Have the eyes and heart of a child. Don’t fear, just do. I constantly forget and are constantly reminded. When we were younger, we could have been anything – astronaut, scientist, policeman, president, kings and queens. What has changed? Nothing really, we can still be whoever we want to be, just start being a child again! Everyone who says you can’t, including yourself, have given up, so don’t listen to these people.

Finally, what seems impossible for us now is possible for a child. Have the eyes and heart of a child and it can be possible for us too. To end I’d like to quote Einstein

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.