Tonight as I drove home from university in the pitch black and cold, I was warmed by the presence and cheerful conversation of one of my most favourite people in the world – my seven year old son, Balin. We had the radio on but it quickly became background noise as Balin began one of his famous ‘shared stream of consciousness monologues’. I love these. Tonight’s treasure was centred on things he wishes he had. I was so delighted with his list that I just had to share it with you.
1. The ability to fly.
2. The ability to touch something and immediately have all the facts relating to it in your head.
3. The ability to time-travel.
4. The ability to move things with your mind.
These really aren’t original, by any means. But what I did find fascinating was his reasons for wanting these special ‘gifts’. It would mean never having to go to school again. If you could fly, he said, you could visit anywhere you wanted and see how people live in different places and how animals live in different environments. You wouldn’t need to learn how to drive. The second ‘gift’ is easy to relate to a no-school goal … if school is about storing facts in your head, why not just store them in everything and have that easily transmittable into your brain via a simple touch? Time travel would make learning about history straight-up cool and fun. Plus you could find out what inventions were created in the future, come back and make them in the present. The moving things with your mind … I have no idea how that relates to school. He actually got distracted from his list in the end because he was convinced that he made a bottle shake just by looking at it. Hahah. I love my little Bananas.
Balin’s imaginative way of thinking about the world … and his creative way of solving a simple problem (school = boring) is inspiring. How many adults do you know that would sit down and come up with the above list as the four things they most want in life? None, I bet. If we let kids actually tackle real-world problems using their imaginations and their undeniable talent for creative solutions, I reckon we’d have a heaps better world.
I know you’ve probably all seen this video, but I don’t care. I want you to watch it again. Why? Because the man is right. Children are the most creative human beings we have. I reckon we need to spend more time listening to them and less time talking at them. We can learn a lot and maybe the term ‘grown-up’ will no longer be synonymous with ‘boring’.