When I was 2 years old, I got malaria, typhoid and pneumonia attack simultaneously while visiting Pakistan. I was hospitalized for 4+ months and almost paralyzed.
At one point, doctor told my mother that medicines can only do so much and rest is up to God.
I did recover but temporarily forgot how to walk, talk, and eat (poop too). As a result, I was a year behind in school and a very skinny kid – an easy target for bullies.
My mother explains me as helpless as a newborn child. To date, she thanks god for giving her child another life.
Since, I do not remember my struggle, I wanted to know how I was able to pull through it. That is, have the hope and courage to learn to walk, talk, eat and poop all over again.
I am not certain if an adult, including myself, would be able to pull through it. Adults would give up after logically thinking through how much this task demands.
However, having a newborn niece at home and watching her gradually learn to crawl, walk, and talk gave me the chance to self-reflect and extract some learnings.
As grownups we begin to lose the very fundamental traits that allows a child to learn the complex art of language, self-awareness etc. Traits such as persistence, no ideals, and focus.
Below are some of the lessons my niece (kid) has taught me (adult);
- Fake it when you don’t know it. (Her constant talking gibberish.)
- Fail fast, get back up and try again. (Whenever she falls off her favorite toy)
- You can instantly change your emotions. (Her crying and laughing simultaneously)
- Persist at getting what you want. (Her crying to get a toy/item outside her reach.)
- Break big complex tasks into smaller ones. (Learning language starting from “mama” and “papa”)
- Always be curious and keep learning. (Her attempts to use my computer)
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