Thursday, 16 June 2011

Inveterate detectors of lies

Children are inveterate nosers-out of the double-dealing and lies of adults.

Don't you think?

When Y was somewhat younger she came in after school full of something that made her big eyes bigger. They were made bigger by her passionate iteration of 'What matters'. By that she meant the stuff that adults think is important and even vital is not. For example, the head teacher of her school considered that straightening the lines the children formed after their break at lunchtime to be really important. Catching and stopping bullies was ignored.

The head teacher also insisted that rules - the great God Rules - should be slavishly and mindlessly worshipped. Y's rules were different. She knew that small children SHOULD NOT BE BULLIED, and did something about it when they were. She chased the bullies who, having the habit of hanging around in crowds like flies around a corpse, then flew away before her determined onslaught. She was tall and imposing, and she ran at them to STOP the tormenting of little things in the playground.

"But why didn't you tell a dinner nanny?" I asked innocently.

"But Mum," she spluttered, filled with indignation. "They just say you shouldn't tell stories, and tell you that you're lying!"

My indignant crusader. All of seven years old.

Young people are more adept at finding the truth in every situation and, sometimes, acting on their impulses of mercy to help other people.

Do you think that is why we remove our children's wisdom from society by boxing them up in schools?

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