That whole concept of joy, and child’s joy, and how it should not leave! As a child grows, and has to learn to behave- discipline, correct manners, obligations of school, how do you keep the joy? Parents use criticism, guilt, and other methods to control their child’s behavior. There should be a class in teaching parents, and teachers for that matter, to direct a child toward acceptable and reasonable behavior without destroying the enthusiasm and naïve innocence of discovery. Love has to be the emotion that is the most powerful tool. If the power of love can motivate parents, and teachers to guide the child, there will be no guilt or shame or ridicule or punishment. Only a light to the path of understanding. Methods should be developed for new parents, new teachers, and anyone dealing with children, to guide with love as the motivator. Each child’s ego will remain intact, free to express their individuality.
Once in a while, we encounter the fortunate child of parents who instinctively knew that raising a child is not molding them into a restricting set of rules, but nurtures the child’s own instincts for creativity and individuality. That child will grow into an open minded, giving adult, who fulfills his dreams and lives his life unencumbered by guilt or repression. This is the life we are all meant to live.
Life as fun is not immature! It does not mean we stay a child forever. It means we take all that is fresh and new about children and use it as a lesson for how to feel and how to think. Our joy, our curiosity, our enthusiasm, our sense of excitement, should carry through and just expand as our world widens with new experiences, new relationships, new endeavors. We should be doing in adulthood what we did as children if we were given the chance…to play, to learn, to enjoy, to share with open enthusiasm, all that is meaningful to us.
Our feelings about what we are doing are our guide to what is good for us. These feelings, which we trusted as children, are just as reliable for us as adults. They are the basis on which we should be making decisions. Understanding what makes us feel good will free us from worry and hurt and save us from anger and wrong turns. Trusting our feelings is the best way to know ourselves, and to surround ourselves with the people, jobs, foods, pastimes that will fulfill our souls. Anything that does not feel good in our heart is not good for us. And it is the best indicator of how to make decisions.
Life is a gift and every day is an opportunity to unwrap the joy that is ours to have. Feelings and love go together and nothing else is really as important. Any time something comes between, just return to feelings and love.