Column is a monthly feature that explores the world
of creativity and aesthetics.
When kids see a puddle they have an
unbridled desire to splash in it. Adults
on the other hand tend to do one of two things
when they see a young one rushing towards a shallow
pool of water. They either warn their enthusiastic
charge not to mess up their clothes, or worse,
child up just before their feet reach the
rippling surface. What is it that drives kids towards
why do most adults avoid splashing all together?
Pursuit of Knowledge
are built to learn. The more we learn, the greater
our chance of survival, reproduction, and
prosperity. Our strength as a species lies
in the way we use our minds to meet
An olympic athlete can touch 36mph (58kph).
being a lot faster than I can run,
this is still not fast enough to escape the reaches
of a predator. Our
best defense is using our minds to outwit those
who want us for lunch. We're hard-wired to think,
and the spark that attracts us to a puddle is
discover and explore a less familiar environment.
review the material by splashing. Our feet stamp
down and experience an altogether different reality
compared with the familiar resistance of a solid
surface under our shoes. We practice science,
the effort to discover and understand how physical
reality works. It's not the academic science
of the classroom, but rather the practical
experiential science that we use every
day as we navigate the world.
are more flexible
and open to new knowledge and experience than
most adults. They are less constrained by
how they will be viewed by others. If
do not know something they are more likely to
ask or seek an explanation.
This is partly due to their awareness that there
of which older people do.
acceptance of limited personal knowledge and
understanding is the start of growth. As we age,
social pressures and pride often cloud our ability
to learn effectively. Those that run at a puddle
display their tendency to learn. Each time we
warn the child not to splash in the puddle, we
send a message that learning (which is fun)
Risks We Take
is very little risk in splashing, the next step up
is sliding. A cold spell comes and covers the
playground with snow and ice. In an effort to
keep the children safe the teachers clear paths
to the entrance doors and encourage the parents
and children to keep off the "dangerous" ice.
While the risk of falling is increased with ice,
all the more reason children should practice
on it. The more experience we have with a material,
the more prepared we are to cope, and ready
to use it to our advantage.
meaning adults who have lost their instinct for
learning instruct children not to throw snowballs
for risk of getting wet, or of becoming injured.
We learn best, and we remember far more vividly,
In common with splashing, throwing a snowball
can teach children a great deal. They not only
learn about materials and physics, but they also
develop social strategies and observe the actions
and behaviors of others in an unfettered, and
we grow older we increasingly
concern ourselves with the consequence of the
actions we take. If I do something, what will
be its effect? This
assists us in making judgments about what will
be to our benefit or disadvantage in the future.
The downside is that considering consequences
that are not hurtful can sometimes hamper
our growth. I have therefore taken it upon myself
to splash more in
and I urge you to do the same...
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