I had a brief conversation with my 9 year old daughter as I was leaving the house this morning. ‘How come you’ve got sausages in your packed lunch?’ I asked. ‘I have them on special occasions’, she replied. ‘So what’s so special about today?’ I asked, now intrigued. ‘I’m having sausages!’ she replied, without flinching. I did laugh. I love the way that children don’t feel bound and constrained by the logic and patterns of thinking that we as adults allow ourselves to become tied up by. There’s a freedom and playfulness that allows new perspectives, insights and ideas to emerge.
I became conscious of how quickly I move from a free flow of ideas to judging and evaluating them, discarding any that don’t fit with my preconceived notions and expectations of how things are or should be. I limit myself by the boundaries of my own imagination, stifling creativity and paradoxical insight without even knowing it. I’m reminded profoundly of the biblical challenge, ‘unless you become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’. It’s about seeing the invisible, hearing the unspoken word, discovering a way where there is no way.
Nick is a psychological coach, OD consultant and trainer, specialising in critical reflective practice.