I just finished watching The Greatest Showman again and I get something new from it every time. This time was a thought about how the children in the movie really made an impact on the confidence of the performers. Even in the modern and progressive time that we currently live, we find similar separation. The idea of someone or something being different scares many people. This is an ongoing challenge as some of this is hardwired from our ancient days of surviving on our wits and simple tools. In a more complex system, we are able to build walls, physical and digital, to keep these “strange” people/ideas out. We filter, mute, and block. We curate what we see and hear. In many cases, we take this to the extreme so that we never hear about something unless it is in our bubble of interest. Don’t get me wrong, we cannot all know everything or be passionate about everything. We just don’t have the time or the power to do that. If someone could live to be 500 years old, I still don’t think they would be able to fully capture it all. That is the point. That is the beauty of our race. The human race. The diversity of ideas is so wide that we cannot capture is all, no matter how hard we try. This brings us back to the power of the sponge that is the child’s brain.
Children have this openness that goes along with their curiosity (More of this in my earlier post: Sense of Wonder). They are exploring and learning empathy as they grow into young adults. There is a great power in this. I think I noticed it so specifically (this time) because I live in such an adult-only world. I work with adults, I speak to adults on the phone, I read blogs and thoughts of adults. This is not abnormal and I wouldn’t want to ONLY be surrounded by children either. I did, however, have a period in my early 20s where I was interacting with young children and teenagers on a regular basis. This keep me in that mindset of exploring and wondering about the world around me. Also, it kept my mind fresh with new ideas that would only come to the younger mind. The great collector of information only later is shaped by the world of logical expectation of society.
I might have stated this before, but there is a great insight and naive wisdom in children. They are extremely perceptive and usually know more than they let on. In the movie, the main character experiences horrible conditions of poverty and a class struggle. Even in the midst of this, he finds joy in the simple pleasure of using his imagination to create a world around him. This is the magic of a child’s mind.