This keeps coming up again and again. There is a world of difference between these two mentalities and the way they are interpreted. More often than not, a perception regarded is in the mind of the beholder.
Have you ever seen the face of a child in thought? Have you seen a child looking at a fire? The child knows something is off but still reaches out with his/her hand, those tiny perfectly formed fingers getting closer. There is some trepidation in the child’s face displaying eagerness as it delves into the unknown. Getting too close, the child realizes that the heat is increasing with every closing inch and finally when it is too hot to handle, he/she retreats.
It is the next moment that is the revealing one. The child displays a huge expression of understanding and pride on that cute little face for having learnt something new. It is this awareness in each of us which needs to be nurtured and kept on the top always. A childlike attitude is endearing, loving and lovable. It is devoid of any masks and makes one attractive to other people. It is very easy to fall in love with a childlike person. There is no need to tiptoe around them nor do they expect white lies.
A childlike person is also innocent and can be taken for a ride many many times. Pity the one who has the cruelty to do this for the childlike one knows no vengeance. Experimentation, simplicity and forthrightness are virtues of the childlike. But a childlike person is also deeply mature as there is a quiet understanding from within owed to the power of observation. It is this meld of love and maturity that is so precious.
A childish person on the other hand is naïve and immature. Childishness is expected in a child because the ego is still forming; the child is developing its own identity; the “I” is happening. Growing into an adult, there are expectations from society and one’s own self to mature and understand the millions of complex emotions working in nature. But a staunch refusal to see what’s ahead or adapt by pretending its not there makes for a childish nature.
Each of us was a child. No escaping that and no bypassing that. The soul of a child is to be retained in every aspect of our daily lives. When we work, play, talk, even clean a toilet. Approaching every activity with this first time innocence keeps your energy alive.
Be a child in the purest sense.