I’m Just a Kid – One Child’s View of Truth

Friday afternoon rolled around.  School was out, and I went to the front gate for my weekly after-school duty.  As I assisted arriving parents to sign their kids out, I knew that at any moment, Yok, one of my fifth grade students, would be come over to hang out with me for a few minutes. I have to confess that Yok had spoiled me with her perfect attendance since the beginning of the school year.  I always looked forward to our after-school conversations.  Eventually Yok skipped over and sat on the bench beside me.  “Hello, Mr. Allen,” she said cheerfully.  This that our chit-chat meeting was now in session.  

On that particular afternoon Yok and I shared personal stories about the times we broke or dislocated our bones, and about other stupid things we did to get in trouble. After about ten minutes I decided to change the course of our discussion.  “Yok,” I said with a thoughtful tone. “Who do you want to be when you grow up?”

“That kind of talk is for grown ups, Mr. Allen.  And I’m just a kid.”  She paused to study my reaction.  “And besides,” she continued.  “The future is unbalanced.”  Her eyes trailed off into the distance, leaving her words as silent echoes in my mind.  I immediately recalled a scene from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince where the narrator explains: “Grownups never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again.”

 

But alas, I was a grown-up, 32-years in; and I felt a need for further explanation. “Unbalanced?” I asked. “What do you mean by unbalanced?”

“I mean the future is unbalanced,” Yok explained in a scholarly tone.  “By the time I’m your age I will have changed my mind 100 times. So what’s the point of thinking about it now?” 

 

“You’re so right!” I said.  “Thank you for teaching me this truth.”  She extended her hand in the air with her palm facing me.  Awe-inspired, filled with amazement at Yok’s wisdom, I extended my hand to meet hers in a quick high-5. 

 

The future is unbalanced: what a beautiful way to verbally illustrate the ways of the universe.  I believe Yok understands that she’d be better off absorbing her mind in things that happen at the present moment, instead of meddling in a future that hasn’t yet been born. And I think she is a happy child for it.

 

And her comment, I’m just a kid:  it reminds me that I too, am just a kid.  Kids are good at being kids because they are kids.  So as a grown-up I find them to be great teachers for me to learn how to live life more happily. Thank you, Yok, for reminding me to live in the present moment; thank you for reminding me to continue being a kid. 

 

 

One thought on “I’m Just a Kid – One Child’s View of Truth

  1. Nice thought, makes me remember that we can learn from anyone. There is a kid named Adora Svitak, Yok reminds me a bit of her. Below is the link to her TED talk:

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