Lessons from the little ones

During the past week two incidents occurred that made Emotional Quotient (EQ), a very chewy socio-scientific concept, more digestible for me.

My soon-to-be 5 year old son has a habit of reading or being told stories during mealtimes. On many occasions, these story-telling sessions become a whole family affair and the boundaries between the real world and the imaginary begin to blur.

During one such lunchtime story telling session last week, I narrated the heart warming and inspiring story of Soma Sharan.  Thereafter, I extended the discussion to hypothesis, opening the floodgates of possibilities where imagination reigns supreme. His dada (paternal grandfather) who was also listening in on the discussion popped a question, “Now that Soma is a happy, healthy girl; and in the future will have a lot of money, her parents, who had abandoned her to die as a newborn, come to her. What do you think she will do?”

As if it was a no-brainer for him, the not-yet five year old replied promptly, “They will all hug each other and be happy.”

The other incident involved these three very ‘active’ 7 year old boys living in my condominium block, whose mothers, seemingly, have memorized the directory of the local emergency services in anticipation of their sons’ requiring it any day, any time particularly when they are together.

Last Monday, two of the boys had a difference of opinion over sharing a bicycle with the third boy, which led to one of them getting accidently hurt, bleeding profusely, followed by frantic calls and apologies galore.

Two days later, I meet the same three boys and couldn’t help but eavesdrop as they planned a pizza party and sleepover. The incident that was less than 48 hours old had been forgotten as it was insignificant and trifle.

Both incidents and these little people have big lessons for adults. I look forward to my next interaction with kids and, more specifically, to mealtime with my son to grow wiser from the simplistic yet profound insights with which people his age perceive this world and their understanding of relationships.

As I await my next learning at the dining table, I pause to ponder: Did I get the concept of EQ right, Peter Salovey and John Mayer?

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