Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lately, conducting storytelling sessions for children has made me look back on my own childhood. I think I was quite a bright child. I loved playing games such as snakes-and-ladders, monopoly, scrabble and enjoyed word puzzles and crafts as well. I loved reading and writing. I was never pushed in my learning, but was basically given free rein to explore. I realise that the things I did as a child set the wheels in motion for what I have become. Writing was my first love, and I still like it very much. Art is another great part of my life. My somewhat free-spirited nature was derived from my childhood I think. And I don't feel like I constantly need to be surrounded by people; I'm just at ease with myself. For this reason some call me introverted, but I'm not sure if that is necessarily so. A more accurate description would be that I like to be independent and I enjoy the time simply spent doing things I like. Having been rather sheltered, I think I've grown to be sensitive, even if I don't appear to be. I can have quite acute inner emotions and strong thoughts. Perhaps this sensitivity has also inclined me towards my two passions, art and writing. I'm quite a dreamer too; it's harder for me to think in practical terms and put thought into action. I don't think this is a totally negative trait of mine though, because it means that I always rely on my mind to supply me with ideas. Also because I think one has to dare to dream in order to take the first step towards accomplishing it.
If I have children next time, I think the greatest gift I can give them is that of freedom. No enforcing hard-and-fast rules, no sending them for myriad classes to develop talents, just allowing them to explore and let their natural talents and passions emerge. Parents in their overeagerness often go too far in their supervision, not realising that the true meaning of childhood is freedom and play. It seems that the older we grow, the more we forget this very simple idea.

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