Monday, August 20, 2007

Why can tiny children understand...but not whole countries of learned people?

My little boy loves preschool! He comes home with lot of stories, and a blow by blow account of his whole day - all retold with a little hop in his step and a bit of a dance too.

A few weeks ago I spoke to his teacher and asked her how he gets along with the other kids and if he has been able to make many friends. I also told her that he speaks of a little boy called 'Bobby' quite frequently.
She smiled, and said, "Oh Yes, that's interesting actually because Bobby is Chinese - he speaks no English at all, but they play together all day long and seem to know exactly what they are doing!"

I was so surprised!

They manage to play every week, all day long, without understanding a word the other is saying. (Of course by now they will have learnt from each other) I wondered why my boy looked a bit confused when he talked about Bobby.

It is quite profound that two small boys can manage to communicate and play harmoniously, with such vast cultural and linguistic barriers. What our world leaders could learn from little people is so great that I find it hard to fathom. At what point does prejudice and fear of 'otherness' come into their psyches and poison their willingness to accept difference?

Perhaps early friendships such and this are the key? If that is the case what hope is there for children around the world who are encouraged and taught to hate their enemy??

When we got home that afternoon, I asked him about his day and tried to explain that Bobby spoke a language called Chinese and that is why he sometimes didn't know the words that my little one was saying and vice versa - I also tried to ask him if he knew any of the words that Bobby used?

Well, he got a thoughtful expression of his face and asked for some apple juice. He didn't care. LOL

1 comment:

the stripey tiger said...

Great story becky! It's great for you that Luca has settled into preschool at last! I'm about to listen to some podcasts too and surprise surprise - I listen to the RN Book show too. You know what they say ...great minds...
xxx Shaz