This week, I had the honour of having a lunch date with my 9 year old son (instead of me being at work and him being at school).
He sat across the table from me and asked me what I would like to have in life– so I explained a few things to him. He then asked me what I was afraid of, what was holding me back. So I replied, using concepts that I thought he could easily understand, that I fear rejection. He then said to me that my fears are all about the unknown and that I always presume the worst when I should expect the best!
Profound words from a 9 year old, and yes I think my son is a genius (of course I should, I am his mother!). Truthfully though, most kids have amazing advice and have ways of seeing the world that we often don’t. That is because they have less fear, they have less experience of what could go wrong so they don’t see the world in the jaded way that adults do. They trust their instincts.
But because we are adults, and they are kids, we think that we know better than them. And we do all the talking, and sometimes shouting, and very little of the listening.
To listen to a child takes modesty. Put aside your stubbornness (the I’m always right and I know what is best for me part) and just listen graciously.
In the same way, we often ignore elderly people who we think are past it, or don’t understand the way that the world works these days. They are the ones who can sometimes simplify an issue that we are complicating.
You don’t have to go around listening to everyone’s advice – especially those people who are always trying to tell you what to do (and don’t tend to even follow their own advice), but sometimes it is good to keep quiet and just listen. Don’t resist it, it is not an insult to you.
Baz Luhrmann says in his song Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfq_A8nXMsQ
“Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than
And where does the best advice come from? From deep within you – that quiet voice that whispers “you can” when your conscious brain is shouting loudly “you can’t!”
Believe in yourself, because you are so, so worth it!