Growing up Tips: Never lose Your Childlikeness
Last week I was one of the panelists in “Green is the New Fashion: Starting your Waste-Free Journey” webinar with young entrepreneurs, Topiku’s (The world’s most sustainable hat) CEO, Monty Hasan, and the teenage activist media darling, Melati Wijsen, from Byebyeplasticbags.
During that webinar where we shared about our #Merdekaplastik fashion collection launch that help keep the oceans clean, I was amazed by Melati. She was vocal about the impact she wants to see and where she wants others to play a part in. It was bold. It was imaginative. It was daring.
That moved me. It moved people.
Seeing Melati’s passion reminded me how I used to be — courageous and full of youthful ambition. Though I am only a few years older than Melati who’s 19, she made me reflect how much I’ve changed. I was much more vocal, unworried about people’s perception of my crazy ideas. I was imaginative, hopeful on how to change the world. I was generous in my friendships, not reserving my energy, time, and wisdom to those who are different. A few years later and how much more closed off, boring, and skeptical I’ve gotten.
Have we lost our wonder?
As we grow up, we become more of a pessimist — sneering at revolutionary ideas. We’ve grown dull in our imagination of what the world could look like. We’ve become so accustomed to the bad news in the world, we are skeptical of the good in people.
We stop dreaming and advocating for what could have been the better way of doing things, instead we adjust to status quo.
We quit on people and institutions that are different than our own preferences when previously we were more gracious, humble, and open to diversity.
We stop giving people the benefit of a doubt and rather stereotype them into boxes.
Can we, still be, like a child who is filled with wonder when experiencing the world anew?
We are taught to grow up to be more independent and more realistic. These are good things. But sometimes, in the process of growing up, there are good traits that we may lose along the way, our childlikeness.
Childlikeness is not childish-ness. Being childish is being silly. What I am encouraging is the sense of wonder that mirrors what a child has: seeing the best in people, courageous to try new things, and joyous in life.
What does it look like to be childlike again?
- Not carefree but care-filled.
- Not naive, but innocent yet informed.
- Not begrudging, but forgiving
- Not prideful, but open-minded.
- Not dull, but lively.
What will it look like in your life to be like a child again? Filled with wonder? What will it take to get there? Do you need to unlearn and re-learn some habits ?Are there people you need to cut out of your life? Are there habits you need to learn to pick up again? Should there be an inner healing that happens?
Take the time to reflect. Ask hard questions. For the present is a gift. And the best is yet to come.
May we never lose our wonder,