Innocence of Kids
By Julia Fernandes

April 9, 2012


During the Maundy Thursday service, a four year old child was sitting two rows before us with his parents. Extremely naughty, his parents could not contain him even for 10 minutes in one place. Each time they made him sit he got up and kept roaming around.


This young chap took a delight in collecting mud from the ground and putting it on the chairs, much to the anger of his father who kept scolding him. It did not deter him one bit. He found other novel methods of keeping himself entertained. He began turning all the empty chairs upside down. While some were giving the child dirty looks, I kept smiling at his antics.


I could not help but marvel as to how children can extract joy from thin air. The best thing about being a child is their innocence. Maybe, that is the reason why God has said that unless you do not become like little children you cannot enter the kingdom of God.


My nephew recently recounted an incident from his school. It was the Computer class and his teacher was teaching all complicated HTML coding for designing websites that proved too much for the intelligence of 12-year olds. As a result the whole class was not paying attention and everybody was talking.


Only my nephew and his partner with their heads tilted to one side kept staring at the board in all seriousness. When the teacher saw them she announced to the whole class, “Look at how these two students are paying attention. They are so studious.” My nephew and his partner exchanged glances.


My nephew said, “The only reason we were staring at the board was because we could not understand anything. Teacher thought we understood everything. She asked us only the question.” Needless to say both could not answer...:)


Recently, in a casual chat with my nephew I asked him what you want to become when you grow up. Pat came the reply, “I want to join the Indian Navy.” I asked him why. He replied, “Because I will get to eat prawns.” For a moment I was shocked.  I looked up from the book I was reading and before I could start laughing, my nephew smiling sheepishly, corrected his statement.


When I prodded him further he revealed. Last year during summer vacation we had taken him to visit the decommissioned naval ship INS Vikrant. My nephew who is a complete foodie, paid special attention to the kitchen of the ship. He saw vegetables being cut and most importantly he saw prawns being cleant and cut.


He even showed me the brochure which he preserved from last year and pointed out the counter where the prawns were being cut. I kept pulling his legs. I thought to myself, our country will not be in safe hands but in safe stomachs!


A child’s thoughts, actions, answers are so pure and unrehearsed. I would encourage all parents to retain the innocence of their kids. Let them grow and blossom in their own sweet time. Do not try to make them like adults by feeding them worldly knowledge and facts before time. May all children all over the world be innocent for the longest possible time!