< BACK  | AT HOME • February 24, 2014
How we crush our children’s spirit
“Dance when your heart desires it.”
I had the privilege of going on a school trip with my son. They visited the local pizzeria. Apart from the adorable sight of watching 4 year olds whip up pizzas, little did I know a little nugget of a life lesson awaited me.
At the end of the day, the class teacher went off to finish things up and there sat a whole bunch of 4 year olds with nothing to do. Were they expected to sit still honestly?
So one got up and broke out into the best dance moves you have ever seen from a 4 year old. Soon, the others followed suit. I was in awe of a bunch of 4 year olds bhangra dancing, break dancing, cant-be-defined dancing and pulling the other kids in to join the fun – with mismatched music playing! Laughter in the air, love in their hearts – they danced to their own individual rhythm, like no one was watching.
The teacher walked back in and yelled at the top of her lungs –“Sit down! This a restaurant! This is not a place to dance!” followed by a resounding “Be quiet!”
The kids scurried back to their seats, spirit crushed and the urge to act spontaneously swallowed by society’s need to put up appearances.
Born free and with not a care in the world, eventually we are trained to live according to what other people may think of us. How is any inkling of spontaneity supposed to survive the weight of that? Heck, I think the world would be a better place if we all danced when we felt like it.
This is what I told my son after the incident. Dance. Dance to your own beat. Dance when they tell you not to. Dance when your heart desires it.
After all, is life but not a celebration?