When the Child in Me sees the Child in You, Episode 96

What would happen if we lightened up with one another just enough to see the tender, vulnerable human being behind the bluster? A conversation about treating one another with kindness and truthfulness and letting go of our certainty about each others’ intentions, with Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.

Here’s Episode 96 of Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living. Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. We’re also on YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google and Spotify

When we forget that other people are – just like us – often suffering, confused, longing and vulnerable, we can easily hold them to impossible standards. And when we do this, all kinds of conflicts, differences, and irritations gain a rigidity that makes them hard for us to deal with. What would happen if we softened our stance enough to see the human behind the bluster? And, in doing so, revealed our own messy humanity too?

Join us for a conversation about looking below the surface in our everyday interactions, which begins with this source from Alain de Botton:

On Knowing Ourselves as Childlike
by Alain de Botton, from ‘The Course of Love’

When children cry, we don’t accuse them of being mean or self-pitying; we wonder what has upset them. When they bite, we know they must be frightened or momentarily vexed. We are alive to the insidious effects that hunger, a tricky digestive tract or a lack of sleep may have on mood.

How kind we would be if we managed to import even a little of this instinct into adult relationships – if here, too, we could look past the grumpiness and viciousness and recognize the fear, confusion and exhaustion which almost invariably underlie them. This is what it would mean to gaze upon the human race with love…

[Because] it’s not just children who are childlike. Adults, too, are – beneath the bluster – intermittently playful, silly, fanciful, vulnerable, hysterical, terrified, and pitiful and in search of consolation and forgiveness.

We’re well versed at seeing the sweet and the fragile in children and offering them help and comfort accordingly. Around them, we know how to put aside the worst of our compulsions, vindictiveness and fury. We can recalibrate our expectations and demand a little less than we normally do; we’re slower to anger and a bit more aware of unrealised potential. We readily treat children with a degree of kindness that we are oddly and woefully reluctant to show to our peers.

It is a wonderful thing to live in a world where so many people are nice to children.

It would be even better if we lived in one where we were a little nicer to the childlike sides of one another.

Photo by Max Goncharov on Unsplash