“The great man is he who does not lose his child’s-heart.” — Mencius
Hatred is taught, not learned.
By this I mean that hatred is something we aren’t born with, and it’s other people that teach us to hate instead.
This is why having the heart of a child is important. A child’s heart, or psyche, is pure. It isn’t ruined by hate for others, and doesn’t put itself higher up than others. Unfortunately, some people are taught to hate. Perhaps even more unfortunately, it’s a normal and natural part of development for people to form an ego. I couldn’t tell you why this is, but it’s true.
Later on in life, if we’re fortunate enough, we stumble across something or someone that teaches us to be humble. This teacher reminds us that everybody is made of the same things, and everybody is capable of things that others do. One tidbit of wisdom I heard somewhere is that the people you look up to are manifestations of one’s’ self — I am you, you are me, and together we rise. This also goes both ways; the people you look down on are just like you, and you look down on them because they highlight something you don’t like about yourself.
Mencius tells us that great men have the heart of a child. We now understand why; these men have forgotten hate and they find joy in everything. They recognize good and evil and know what to avoid, but they only take things at face value. They don’t read between the lines when there’s nothing to see, and as a result they become much happier.
Think about areas where you can apply this knowledge. What parts of your life do you tend to overthink? Do you place titles onto things that don’t hold them? By that I’m asking if you think of things as worse than they really are. Take some time today to step back and recognize where you might be doing this.
On top of lacking hatred and finding joy in everything, children are kind to others. If they aren’t taught to do otherwise, they share. They check on their friends. They’re considerate of others and kind, and they don’t even recognize it!
Think about where you can apply some childlike wisdom. It’s more important than you might understand.
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