When was the last time you asked a child a truly profound question?
The comedian Joe Lycett recently wrote a Guardian column in which he mentions asking a ten year old girl, to whom he is close, “What do you think art is?” She replies, “It’s trust. If you trust something’s good, then it is.” Brilliant. As Joe says, that is exactly what art is.
Fashion is a slippery master. It pervades almost every aspect of our lives, not just music and clothes, but attitudes, values and personality traits. These days the tenet that ‘you can achieve anything if you want it enough’ is all pervasive. Similarly I see a trend towards ‘loving yourself’ gathering momentum. Less in favour are the not-so-thrusty attributes of modesty and humility.
There are some difficult lessons to be learned about human relationships during a lifetime, and we have to deal with some of the toughest ones in our tenderest years.
A friend of mine has a ten year old daughter who is presently going through the pain of a group of three friends splitting up, into one pair of best mates and one abandoned loner. My friend’s little girl is the one who’s been kicked out. I feel for her, I really do, I remember the same thing happening to me when I was eleven - that extra year giving no extra buffer - and I didn’t have to contend with social media and a world of more sophisticated methods to make a person feel isolated. I also feel for my friend.
I’m sure you’re aware of all the recent discussion there’s been around children and gender stereotyping, in the papers, on television and also within social media. In July, I posted this quote on the How to Speak Child Facebook page and it prompted a slew of comments, mostly expressing frustration at how engrained in common language those stereotypes can be.