If you’ve ever watched kids play before, they come up with pretty crazy things to do. This past December I helped out with kids at a camp for World Impact staffers. So you know, we drive up there and the very first day I’m introduced to them I become “Olaf” because the kids are told my name is from the movie Frozen. And it didn’t help that I was wearing a white puffy windbreaker that day…
The next day, I was cordially invited to the 18th birthday party of a 5-year old girl. We ate some chocolate sand cake with sprinkles and sang the birthday song. YEEHAW! Then we were told to skedaddle for 30 minutes so she could bake another cake for her 100th birthday. Not sure what happened, but we were never invited to that party…
These mini creatures I interacted with that weekend, were so fresh in the world and had the urge to discover. They could say anything and make it true, be brutally honest with you and somehow get you to think twice about how you were living your adult life. At times, I found myself wondering how a kid could possibly ask so many questions. Then I remembered that I too had and have a billion questions to ask (there may be a post on that sometime in the future).
A child’s questions may seem a waste of time or even dumb to an adult, but without questions there are no answers. Without curiosity, there is no creativity. Without a process, there is no learning. I think often as “civilized adults” we lose that curiosity, that desire to ask questions because we fool ourselves into thinking we know it all. We degress in our intellect as we believe we’re more in control of things-our rationale, our ideas, our actions. But really, we’re each tiny ants in a great big universe, only aware of the smallest bit of reality.
As my past lab advisor once said to me, “the more you know, the less you know.” We progressively realize how dumb we are and how we can never know everything, yet that doesn’t stop us from seeking knowledge and truth.
I remember one particular incident when I decided to test what I knew about what was before me. I decided to ask one of those “what if?” questions that are always bound to shake up your world one way or another.
The memory is ingrained quite clearly in my brain. On some random day in my childhood, 4 or 5 years old, I sat in my room alone, marveling at the different colored beads I had lying like gemstones across the floor. Gosh, what a treasure chest, I was ballin’. I inspected each bead, feeling its shape and size, the weight against my palm. Then I had a wild thought! “This bead is shaped like a circle! Oooooh, so is my nostril. Same, same. What if I just…?” And before my conscience could tell me otherwise, I popped the bead up my nose, like I was throwin’ some coins in the piggy bank, na big deal.
Then realization hit real fast. “Same, same? A LITTLE TOO SAME!!!!” But really, it was more like, “I can’t breath right now.” My regular panic mode was intensified a thousand times because there was a bead up my nose and I couldn’t get it out, yo.
But if you’ve ever watched Finding Nemo (using all those Disney references today) you’ll remember that Gill told Nemo, “You got yourself in, you can get yourself out.”
So rather than freak out and desperately attempt to suck air in and out of my nostril, I paused. I took one finger and pressed it to the side of my nose (the side with the free nostril, duh), and I blew. Out popped that pristine bead (though maybe there were some boogers attached to it (⊙﹏⊙✿)), and once again I was okay, I was breathing. BREATHING I TELL YOU! Anyways, moral of the story, always experiment and ask probing questions like kids do, but be prepared for things to turn out wildly differently!! And to make yourself feel better if you can’t prevent mishaps, at least we all learn from our lessthansmart mistakes. Hopefully. AND PLEASE NEVER TRY STICKING A BEAD UP YOUR NOSE. (⊙_◎)
Peace & Potaters,
P.S. Comment below something lessthansmart you’ve done!!