Return To Innocence


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"I wish I could be a little kid again, running without ceasing even after landed in college."

kids chasing.jpg

      Since I moved into my new apartment this year, though some sorts of off-campus monotony starts creeping into my life, I have got a whole truckload of lively noises just across the street: a children activity center operates around-the-clock every day. Today while I was vegetating on my desk, a blunt outburst of shouts and bellows yanked me out of daydreaming. Those kids, coddling up with bright outfits, were chasing aimlessly in the gravel-padded playground. Some twenty tiny faces were hopping all around, casting a stilted comparison as a few ladies standing at the end of the fence, providing necessary protections for these unbridled kids. I have already entered my adulthood soundlessly, in company with schools of hard knocks along the way, before I even notice this hard truth. Out of immense curiosity I came up with the following question, perhaps a cliché notwithstanding, that why little kids have an incredible amount of energies whenever be seen, whereas adults often complain that they are incapable of some extra errands just because of so-called "body exhaustion"?

      I just recently discovered a great way to write blogs, which did not come until I wrote the last one.  With the same manner, I resolved to propose a series of potential explanations to this question, and either to reinforce my tentative thoughts or to dismiss them based on relevant scientific researches.

      As a starter, therefore, I caught up with a story regarding our perceptive faculties. Auditory system, literally enabling us to hear, has been conceived to be a foundational necessity for our normal functioning. So I handed myself with the first piece of pie: Could it be a reasonable deduction that because the gift of hearing for little kids has not been fully granted at their age, namely yet to experience the auditory maturity, that when children are hollering like frisky elves, they are simply not able to detect the full magnitude of sounds. Conceptually speaking, is it possible that when kids thunder their words out, what they really heard is relatively a feeble whisper? It quickly turned out that, my first troubleshooting attempt was perfunctory, and to some extent, self-ridiculing. "During pregnancy many mothers find that baby may kick or jump in response to loud noises", explains Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, "hearing is fully developed in newborns." This being said, toddlers like the ones down the street are far from the least able to detect sounds, but are to be credited with a full-fledged auditory system, let alone those who have birth defects.

       Having reached this point, I am left with the last straw: parenting philosophy has it that it is not advisable to take young kids to wild concerts because of the frailty of children's' eardrum. Needless of further proofs, this axiom has convinced itself across cultures. It appears to be a solid argument that, given the concession that kids have the potentiality to hear the world virtually the same as adults have, they are far more susceptible to rowdy noises. Ironically, rather rescuing myself on a safe ground, I entangled myself on this vulnerability-model, that is, if kids were at a greater risk of auditory impairment with enduring exposure of noises, selective revolution would have postulated that they will cringe at high sounds, and by evident logics, they will opt out producing noises for their own sufferings, so to speak. Instead, those young lads are pandemonium-bringer, not physically alarmed by their noises at all, but literally harvest their joys thanks to spells of shrieks.

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      I was not discouraged by my initial failure, so I presented my second trump card starts with a metaphor. our energy volume resembles to a gas tank. Every morning it replenishes, and thereafter being consumed in response to our works. Adults at this footing are the less luckier, no matter whether they conduct physical laboring or mental processing. In order to assume responsibilities at both individual and social levels, adults are obliged to burn their tank rapidly. In contrast, being surrounded by caregivers, kids are "freemen" rhetorically. The young age gives them an irreproachable excuse for not investing any energy in either backbreaking  or sophisticated daily activities that adults are facing, and they are thus enabled to humor their gas tanks by engaging extensive frolics and self-amusements. But in fact, kids and adults alike, are merely involving different tasks with no clear discretion of energy consumption. Therefore, my observation that kids outdo adults is no more than a misconception of role-playing.

      Half-content with the conjecture, I soon found an ally to go along further, the distinguished psychologist Erik Erikson. In his well-reputed thesis concerning the stages of psychosocial development for human beings, he suggested that individuals with the age between 2 to 4 are driven by the virtue of will. His demonstration goes afterwards, "As they gain increased muscular coordination and mobility, toddlers become capable of satisfying some of their own needs." Despite this encouraging comment, he at the same time warned that "caution must be taken at this age while children may explore things that are dangerous to their health and safety." Based on my comprehension, his remark could be a cogent support to unravel the mystery of children's unlimited energies. But I suddenly realized that at this occasion, energy might not be the ideal word to use, instead excitement fits well. As children finally find themselves having escaped from the constriction of crawling, their bodies have a great disposition to act. Clearly, it is not to say that they get the temperament of shooting all around at toddler age, but it is only until then that this intrinsic value being revealed, as they experiment newly-developed motor abilities with unquenched excitements ever.

      If I conclude the discussion at this point, perhaps it will be inadequate. Finished my romp in both physiological and psychological realms, I have gathered some useful information to buttress my thoughts, but the last finding will surely brush up my journey ultimately.  Success, an edifying magazine covering the whole shebang of life, handles my question in recourse to biochemistry. "The energy in your body is stored in molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) as well as phosphocreatine," the article goes, "free radicals are a natural consequence of producing ATP over time, so the energy you've produced over the years has also led to aging as a result of free-radical damage. So first and foremost, kids have fewer injuries from free radicals that were generated as they produced ATP from food in the past."

what-are-free-radicals.gif

      Hmm, it sounds a rocket science. Yeah, I was freaked out at the beginning. But before long I was able to absorb this concept by reducing it to a non-scientific view: our body functioning is rewarded by a magical energy X. During constant productions of X, a counterproductive by-product Y kicks in. This "radical" Y (as in free radicals) has not had enough time to reduce a kid's mechanism noticeably, apparently because the accumulation of Y in kids is trivial compared to an elder, or even an early adult like me. Therefore, kids are figuratively fresh apples with white meat, and as time proceeds, they gradually get "tainted" and subsequently fade to pale brownish-yellow.

      Serving as a sideline, Success also noted that "kids are still learning and figuring out how the world works. They need the extra energy to explore, fall down, pick themselves up and absorb all the new information that is old news to us adults." This assumption resonates well with Erikson's theory of will which ties to the virtue of young kids. The will drives them around, like some bubbling locomotives on the run, gaining necessary momentums at the start, picking up some speed, and they will soon find themselves in a full gallop on the track.

      This blog actually changed my mind. An ordinary guy am I, who consider the noise generally as a burden to ears, begin to appreciate the story behind the curtain when kids, in the midst of loud noises, unequivocally express their passions to the world as they scramble to achieve early growths. Nevertheless, apprehensions arise when this issue is analyzed with too much optimism. Is it possible that this bunch of naughty kids simply have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? We all want kids being active during their childhoods, but obviously not morbidly active. What do you fellows think? Do you have younger siblings who are feisty all the time? Please share your thoughts below.

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erikson's_stages_of_psychosocial_development#Will:_Autonomy_vs._Shame_.26_Doubt_.28Muscular-Anal.2C_2-4_years.29

http://www.chw.org/display/PPF/DocID/23279/router.asp

http://www.success.com/articles/1395-drs-oz-roizen-energy-fact-and-fiction

2 Comments

Just some additional thoughts to my blog.This whole discussion is explanation-oriented and therefore devoid of any suggestions made to my audience.But there is one question which hovers over my head:could college students find the secret recipe of unlimited energy?If not unlimited,what about just an upbeat attitude of those little kids have?Return to innocence seems to be a joke to many,but I wonder if we could make ourselves a little more productive every day.Getting naps,maintaining good diets,some exercises,those are topics we've been talking in blogs.But ultimately,what is the most crucial factor managing our energy distribution?

I've also recently started wondering why my energy levels have decreased so much since I was younger. Not only do I remember, but my friends and family always tell me how I used to climb everything in sight, run around aimlessly, and how I was a chatterbox ever since I learned how to talk. But as I grew older I became noticeably lethargic, constantly tired, and depleted of energy during the day. You brought up an interesting point that hearing has an effect on ones energy and it definitely makes sense. When we are young we are constantly developing and hearing is something that we are sensitive to. I remember when I used to watch movies I would always flinch or jump when I heard a loud noise whereas these days I could sit through a World War I battle scene and not move a muscle. I've come up with another theory about this phenomenon. As young children we don't have nearly as many obligations as we do now. All we really were forced to do was eat, bathe, and sleep. We really didn't have any other obligations that created any stress and stress is definitely a huge factor in energy depletion. But as we get older, we become overwhelmed with endless responsibilities and duties that we must fulfill on a daily basis. However my theory made me wonder about something. This may sound crazy but bear with me... If a large chunk of energy depletion is due to stress, what would happen to somebody, say our age, who has little to no stress? Would they have the energy of a child or atleast something close to it? Something that backs this hypothesis up are the African pygmies. Pygmies are people who live away from mainstream society and live off of the land. These are the people you see on the Discovery Channel that wear nothing but a few leaves to cover their private area and live a very primitive lifestyle. These pygmies also have incredible human abilities. A pygmy can jump 5-6 feet, they can run extremely fast, and they spend hours in the jungle hunting and gathering. Could all of this energy be attributed to the fact that their lifestyle is not as demanding and complicated as ours?

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