Four Questions From Children’s Books…

As we grow older, we are increasingly less likely to think about what is happening around, how the world works, why people act in one way or another and how you behave yourself to become happy. At some point, we convince ourselves we possess all the necessary information and quietly cease to be interested in the world and ask questions. Although, in fact even if we discard all philosophical questions that everyone should think about, how many of you know how to flush the toilet, is such a thing common for every person? We can frequently hear questions from children that we find it difficult to answer: why is the water wet, why do we see the veins blue, although the blood is red, can the microbes see each other, and why are cats chase mice. This is the beauty of being a child who is characterized by curiosity and spontaneity and sometimes it’s useful for adults to look at the world through the eyes of children.

But in this article, I invite you to resolve questions from children’s books of a more philosophical nature, to which there is no single right answer. You may have already read these books as a child and formed your own answer, or perhaps these specific questions will make you think about your life and help you revise your values, become better and happier.

  1. The issue of choice.

“Alice asked the Cheshire Cat:

“Please tell me where to go from here?”

“And where do you want to go?”(Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland”).

Every person from an early age always faces a choice, and it does not matter whether it is the choice of breakfast or place of work. Over the course of her extraordinary adventure, Alice had to make her own choices more than once. Would she eat a cupcake? Should I drink the contents of the bottle? Which way to go? Whose side to support? But no one gives her a direct answer. She has to think and try everything herself. Of course, not all her decisions brought her joy, but she made each one on her own.

So ask yourself: “Do I need instructions from outsiders or is it better to think with my own head and make my own choice?”

  1. The issue of perspective.

“And if they look down on us… Do you think we look like ants?” (Pamela Travers, Mary Poppins)

When you are a child, the whole world seems bigger. However, Mary Poppins showed that even the huge planet Earth was just a grain of sand compared to the Sun, while a yellow star represented nothing on the scale of the universe. Also, for you, a home spider can be completely harmless, but for an arachnophobe, it is worse than any nightmare.

Perspective is extremely important to understand another person. That which has absolutely no meaning for you may be paramount for another. It is important to treat everything with understanding because you never know what the other person thinks about and how he understands the world.

Ask yourself: “Do we look at things the same with him/her/them?”

  1. The issue of uniqueness.

“Are there many people like you in the world? (“Mary Norton,” The Borrowers”)

There was a scene in the book where the two main characters — a little borrower-man and an ordinary child — think all people are different, and it’s ridiculous to think this is not so. The boys realized they weren’t alike, which is unique.

Each person has his own set of DNA, different life circumstances, a developed model of behavior, his own desires and aspirations. Naturally, there are no identical personalities. Therefore, it is completely logical there is no identical result for everyone. It makes no sense to imitate someone or envy because you cannot repeat his life exactly. You are you. And your life is only your life, and it depends exclusively on you.

So ask yourself: “Do I really need being like someone else?”

  1. The issue of appearance.

“If you had a choice, what kind of person would you prefer being – divinely beautiful, dazzlingly smart or angelically kind?” (Lucy Maud Montgomery, “Anne of Green Gables”)

The main character asked this question to her new guardian, as soon as he took her from the station and without waiting for his answer, she said she wanted to grow up as an attractive girl, but with such bright red hair as hers, her dream would always remain unrealizable. The girl was very well-read, loved to memorize complex words and charming expressions, always knew how to stand up for herself and constantly broke the generally accepted foundations of life. Although Ann strove to be beautiful throughout the novel, everyone adored her for her “dazzling mind” and her ability to be herself. And specifically, her red pigtails fell in love.

So ask yourself: “Is appearance so important to me?”

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