This is the first year that I have had the pleasure of helping teach English to the kindergarten class in Japan. One thing that I have learned from teaching any grade is that children view life and growing-up differently than adults do. When they decide to share their insights, it can be amusing, as well as a surprise to the unprepared. It is especially interesting when it comes from little ones, because they are not shy about speaking their minds. One of my favorite examples of this happened during the first term of this year.
Right now, the kindergarten class is on a “world tour”. They get to see pictures of famous sites, in addition to learning interesting facts about each country. Japan was the beginning of their tour. One of the things we talked about was how there have been some people in Japan who lived for a long time. I showed them a picture of an elderly man and asked them how old they thought he was. (I did not tell them that he was well over one hundred years old!)
Many of their cute little faces had very deep expressions as they thought. After a moment of long silence, one of the children raised their hands. I repeated the question and asked what he thought the man’s age was.
They replied, “Mm….twenty-five?”
Of course, all of the teachers smiled and laughed with the student and class. I’m sure that no one was expecting that answer. When I revealed the man’s actual age, they were all surprised. From this experience, I try to encourage myself with the idea that age is more about maturity, than a number on a birthday cake. One can still be young and hopeful at heart regardless of how old one is.
May God continue to bless you and your families, young and old alike, with His love and hope! (And graceful aging!)
Thank you for your time!