Children are tough, though we tend to think of them as fragile. They have to be tough. Childhood is not easy. We sentimentalize children, but they know what’s real and what’s not. They understand metaphor and symbol. If children are different from us, they are more spontaneous. Grown-up lives have become overlaid with dross.
Children do live in fantasy and reality; they move back and forth very easily in a way we no longer remember how to do.
We’ve educated children to think that spontaneity is inappropriate. Children are willing to expose themselves to experiences. We aren’t. Grownups always say they protect their children, but they’re really protecting themselves. Besides, you can’t protect children. They know everything.
To be a healthy person, you have to be sympathetic to the child you once were and maintain the continuity between you as a child and you as an adult
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Alvin Toffler American Writer, Futurist
- Harvey Fierstein American Actor
- Arthur Miller American Playwright
- Philip Roth American Novelist, Short-story Writer
- Stephen Fry English Actor, Writer
- Oliver Sacks British Neurologist, Writer
- Allen Ginsberg American Poet
- Charles A. Reich American Jurist, Author
- Gertrude Stein American Writer
- Susan Sontag American Writer, Philosopher