Our children’s wisdom comes from an unbiased, honest interpretation of the world we live in. My five year old asked me about my favorite color. I picked yellow out of thin air. I was little prepared for what ensued. Yes, why? Well, it reminds me of sunshine and that makes me happy. His favorite color is red, and red flowers are the happiest flowers because they are bright and can be seen from far away. I agreed with him. “So, Mommy, we both like our colors because they are bright and they make us happy.” We hugged at our common discovery. To me, this topic has come to its natural conclusion.
No, it is just the beginning. “Can I change my favorite color if I want to?” Believing it to be an opportunity at teaching autonomy, independent thought and self-confidence, I assured him that he could change his favorite color whenever it suits him. Colors do not have feelings so will not feel hurt. “But, Mommy, are you sure yellow and red will be happy to not be our favorite colors?” Correct: they cannot cry.
My son looked more troubled than I wanted him to be. Just where is the problem? I gave him a few more minutes to gather his thoughts. “If we cannot be sad, can we be happy?” A tonne of bricks landed on my head as memory brought me back to my first year in Philosophy 101. If a tree falls in the forest with no one to hear it…you know the one? To my son, it is only natural that to know happiness, one should also know sadness. They are essential parts of the whole.