Last week was full of experiences that regarded a connection to children.
First — 6 children concerts — we played Beethoven so many times for over 1000 children. Somehow, the energy of their listening was giving. It felt like a fair exchange — Beethoven seemed more alive. As our conductor said to us and them during the concerts — Musicians play way better when their audience is really actively listening.
The weekend was used to make a visit to Goldschmidt’s academy, a school that open in Copenhagen around 2012, with the goal to offer music lessons for free to children who couldn’t otherwise afford it.
The academy was holding a weekend camp for their students, where they would play together and have lessons and activities regarding music.
My friend and I went there to get to know the children and also in a sense learn to connect with them at their level. This happened through games, stones, secret paper-notes, musical conversations by a piano (It is wonderful how two persons can talk about so much through five tones — when the presence is honest, it is enough. Quality over quantity, right?)
I must admit — in their innocence, they seem to know how to perceive and understand the world better than us concerned adults.
They move through life without being capable to see barriers — maybe some challenges, but if encouraged enough, manage to pull through, with or without help.
Try to think back — how did we learn to walk in the first place?
There is a little ball of fire and light inside the heart of every child. In the right circumstances, that little ball can grow and start an eruption of curiosity – and so, the amazing process of learning about the world begins.
Children are amazing when that explosion happens — everything is a surprise, a fresh step, a new minute — even mistakes become an excuse to laugh, jump around and try again.
Such eruption represents the art of perseverance in its most pure form, not born out of obsession or fear but rather motivated by the endless fascination of a discovering pioneer.
A kid might feel like the great explorers Columbus, Magallanes or Franklin during the eruption — not afraid of the sea ahead, of the unknown monsters lurking in deep waters, of the possibility of even dissapering, dying.
The excitement is bigger than themselves in their physical or mental limitations.
Curiosity killed the cat they say…
But what if….
…the cat just transformed into another creature, revolutionized, growed….changed? — into for example…. a lion?!
and so, why child-engineer in the title, you may ask?
That takes me to an inspiring talk I had with my sister during these days— She is studying interaction design — a mixture of engineering and design as far as I could understand.
When I asked — what is an engineer — she answered: A person who can/want to spot the problems/challenges of the real world and find solutions to it. It can be use in any sense.
I cannot help but wanting to make a small connection bridge between the childlish spirit in all of us and the need for a more engineer-mindset in our daily lives.
It represents a perfect balance —while the child seeks, the adult learns through experience — to spot the challenges, the problems of daily routines and enviroments and eventually find ways to solve them.
It has to be a team work — between your inner child — the curious, the entrepreneur, the one who keeps asking non appropriate questions, the one who pulls you off your comfy sofa, makes a fool of yourself and laughs about it lightly before taking a new try out — and your experienced adult — the logical thinker, the theorizer, the one who can connect the dots collected in the walked paths.
Together they could work to build something new, something needed, something that will make their lives and other peoples lives better.
If we all are able to take care of the child and wake up the adult engineer within ourselves— how wonderful would that be?