Maybe We Should Act Like Children

For the last two days, I’ve been debating whether or not I should blog about the US election. If I do, would it matter? Would the words I type be any different than anything already said? Or would I just open myself up to internet trolls who would tell me to get back in my igloo because I live in Canada and didn’t have a vote on Tuesday.

And if I don’t talk about the election, what do I write about? Do I go on with my blog and write something funny, as if nothing happened? I don’t think I can do that. I don’t feel like being funny. Not yet, at least.

So I’ve decided to do a combination of the two. I’m going to talk about the election, but not really talk about it. I’ll pivot. I’ll let you know when I’m pivoting. It’ll be shortly.

Donald Trump won the election. A lot of people are happy about it. A lot of people aren’t. A lot of people are terrified. I don’t need to go into the reasons why. You know them.

Peaceful protests have started in cities across America. I haven’t paid much attention to them, so for all I know, they could be just that – peaceful.

But I’m jaded. Whenever I hear the words, “Peaceful Protest”, it’s like telling me a kindergarten class is going to finger paint for half an hour and not create a mess in the washroom when they go clean up.

Sorry, but I’ve seen too many “peaceful protests” to know they don’t all end with cookies, hugs, and kumbaya. Do any of them?

If you look at social media – Twitter, in particular – you’ll notice the hashtag: #LoveTrumpsHate.

And that’s what this is about. Love. And hate. Not Trump.

This is where I pivot.

When I was a kid, there was hate in the world, just not my world. I think that is true for most children. Their world is a bubble filled with rainbows, scratch ‘n sniff stickers, and teeth under their pillow.

The most stressful or unnerving thing in a kid’s life is trying to put on their boots, snow pants, and jacket at school without the assistance of an adult.

You put your boot on the wrong foot. Your zipper gets caught. Or your foot gets caught on the inside of your snow pants and it takes forever to get it out the other end. It’s a disaster.

Then you run outside for recess and before you even ask if you can play, someone has already assigned you to a team, or told you to join the four square line.

At snack time, someone might have popcorn and share some with others. At lunch, someone might have McDonald’s and all of a sudden, they don’t have any fries left.

Everyone is so kind. And you know they don’t have “ulterior motives” because children don’t learn those words until they’re older.

By the way, my Grade 1 teacher wrote on my report card that I shouldn’t share my snack with others. I never understood why. I thought I was just being nice. If someone didn’t have food, I would share some of mine. What’s the big deal?

Allergies. Dietary concerns. Maybe Billy’s mom doesn’t want Billy eating food from Paul’s lunch bag. Yada yada yada, okay I get it. But still. I was being nice. Don’t write that nonsense on my report card.

In the summer, the kids on my street would meet up for road hockey on a regular basis. All it would take was one person to be playing outside, the rest of us would see them from our window, and all of a sudden we’re walking down the street with our hockey sticks.

We would play for hours, only stopping for juice breaks, or when a car was coming.

Being a little kid was so simple. Everyone was nice. Everyone was accepting. Everyone had someone to sit next to on the carpet at school. Girls had cooties. Boys had cooties. The usual.

Of course, as we got to the older grades, that started to change. Bullying, cliques, jokes about others, etc.

Boys and girls still had cooties, though. They always do. 

And I guess that’s when children realize things don’t always stay the same. That’s when the natural divisions start. When your friend list goes from “everyone” to the people you want to be friends with.

Fast forward a bunch of years, we’re all adults, and the world isn’t what we thought it was when we were young. We grow up and see a world full of problems, with a bunch of people who do nothing but contribute to those problems.

I’m not just talking about politicians or people in power.

I’m talking about the people who feel the need to go on the internet, type out a hateful message, and press send.

Or the people who honk at you on the road because how dare you not want to break the law by speeding in a school zone?

You know, morons like that who ruin it for everyone.

What happened to playing with Lego for hours on end, or game boards? Remember when those were the things that brought us happiness and gave us something to do other than putting people down?

I’m not saying adults should be building a Lego castle every day, but…well…why not?

There is so much hate in the world. You don’t need me to tell you that.

When did we get this way, though? Maybe we’ve always been this way. And if that’s the case, how do we fix it?

How do we create a world without hate? Is it possible?

I think back to when I was a camp counsellor for kids aged 4-5. They were a handful, but they were so sweet and kind and loved everyone and everything.

I only wish I could be as happy as a 5-year-old when you play “peek-a-boo” with them. The smile on their face stretches to their forehead.

It’s a shame people grow up to be so bitter, angry, and discriminatory. I’m willing to bet they weren’t that way when they were 5-years-old, though.

If all adults could use their experience, knowledge, and maturity, while treating others like a happy-go-lucky child would, then I think we might be on to something.

How do we test this theory?

And maybe that sounds lame, or far-fetched, or even downright hokey. I don’t care.

If you want love, you have to give love. And not in the form of a hashtag, either. Go be kind to a stranger in person.

Before this post gets more preachy than peachy, I’ll end with this:

At one point, we were all children with questionable hairstyles and clothes which we deemed suitable for picture day. Some of those decisions may disappoint us now, but we must not let our current decisions disappoint that child.

Because in many ways, they knew better.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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40 Responses to Maybe We Should Act Like Children

  1. smarin61 says:

    Thanks Paul, wise words in a hard week in social media. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jess says:

    This is by far, one of your best posts I’ve ever read. It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening to everybody, and the behavior from both sides is downright cruel. I may just help my niece build a Lego castle this weekend 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Super awesome. I like your fresh take on what’s going on that has got the whole world in a frenzy.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Nice thoughts! Loved it!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The protests have not been peaceful. In Portland, cars have been vandalized and businesses windows have been smashed in. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, protestors have been flocking highways and impeding traffic, and when police came to clear the traffic backups that extended for miles, protestors threw bricks at them. More vandalism – and physical attacks – have taken place in Baltimore, Denver, Milwaukee, Oakland and Philadelphia.

    These protestors are screaming “love trumps hate”, but they themselves are the ones spewing hate – attacking people and vandalizing property – while Trump voters ever remain the Silent Majority.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      That’s terrible. It seems no one can make their point in a calm manner anymore so they resort to violence. And when they do, no one takes them seriously anyway. If they’re so concerned that Trump is going to be President, they should’ve been more vocal before the election – when they could actually do something about this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. But I think no one bothered to speak out because it seemed so clear Hillary was going to win – again, because Trump supporters were shamed into silence. We as a nation only listened to those who were talking. But so much more was going on in the undercurrents of our country’s populace.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Alyssa says:

    I read this while a fly came onto the screen & died because I hit it away with tissues. I don’t know why I thought it was a funky animation on your blog. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Val says:

    Good post, Paul. I wish we could all be like children, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Barb Knowles says:

    Wonderful. Maybe we can combine our posts and make it about the DNA of children, ha. I’m one of the people who gushed anguish on social media, especially the day after the election. But then my daughter saw a post and told me that it was to remember to do a kindness for someone every day. Which we should be doing anyway. So simple. Act childlike, do a kindness every day. Paul Barb 2020.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. amorefado says:

    Where I live the protests have been peaceful from beginning to end in most cities around me. In others, force was being used on peaceful protesters without it being necessary. I know because I watched it (I wasn’t a part of the protest). I like this post, I understand what you mean. But also, it’s difficult to really understand this situation unless you’re the person scared for their well being (I’m in your boat). You being in Canada doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an opinion, the world has an opinion on this because it’s insane. I just want Obama to say “dude….Be nice.” Before he leaves lol

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh sure thanks a lot Paul. Leave it to you to be the adult about all of this stolen election stuff. I was GOING to be the adult about it first! Your mom always did like you better than me! But that’s only because you were her son first—not that I ever got to be. Anyway, now you’ve left me no choice but to be the childish one about this post of yours about our election. How just like a Canadian to take the adult stance on this issue before an American. Just like the way you French did with the British—we had to wait for you guys to fight them first before we ever got our crack at em! Sorry to bring history into this—but I thought I should bring up that academic subject before you did. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes… now here I’m left with the leftover stance of having to rant and rave like a child, as if I had an axe to grind. I would of, but unfortunately there was a run on axes down here and I didn’t get mine in time—so now I’m forced to use a leftover pitch fork and torch instead, running around like a CHILD with one protest group after the other yelling, “KILL THE MONSTER… KILL THE BIG ORANGE COLORED MONSTER WITH THE TROLL LIKE HAIR AND SMALL HANDS… BUT DO IT PEACEFULLY (gasp!) BEFORE I RUN OUT OF BREATH BECAUSE I LEFT MY COMMAS ON THE COUNTER AT THE HARDWARE STORE WHERE I PICKED UP MY PREVIOUSLY USED TORCH AND PITCHFORK!” Not that it does much good complaining about it now since FBI director, James Comey, will probably release a copy of this childish response to you and OTHER Canadians (AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, OTHER CANADIANS!) before I ever get a chance to finish it. Thus ending my well orchestrated attempt at replacing Prime Minister James Trudeau before his wife finds out I’m in her, I mean, MY new country—known as THE UNITED STATES 2—the sequel. Oh you Maple Leaf loving folks, you always have to wreck everything! Well maybe not everything—The Donald did do a bang up job of wrecking our election party down here in the original United States—before my attempted coup and takeover of Canada. But don’t think that changes anything. That’s no excuse for a Canadian stealing the adult behavior stance before an ugly American with a (red nose) had a chance to steal it first! You should be ashamed of yourself for being adult about this before I had the chance too.

    Like

  11. Nícia says:

    i act like a child as much as i can. i mean, i try always to look at stuff with a fresh perspective, i offer my love, i take risks. but i’m always scorned about it. and i can’t really understand what i’m doing wrong, why people condemn this way of living.

    there should be more children on this world. and now that i have one to take care of, to teach and guide through life, i see how better it is to be like my son. actually, let me put in another way: it is me that is being taken care of, being taught and guided through life. and it’s being an amazing experience. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Children seem to hold all the answers, don’t they? Having worked with children before, I can definitely say that they taught me more than I ever taught them. They have a whole different perspective – one that I think we lose when we get older and supposedly more knowledgeable lol. Thanks for reading and commenting! Continue to act like a kid!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ariel Lynn says:

    Reblogged this on Writing Radiation and commented:
    Be kind to one another… what a concept.

    Like

  13. Ariel Lynn says:

    Heeey… you know anyone looking for a mail-order bride from America? LOL 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m happy you wrote this 🙂 it’s a positive spin on a tough week.

    Liked by 1 person

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