An alternative point of view
Un punto di vista alternativo

January 23rd, 2013
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An alternative point of view

“Do bigger people have bigger feelings?” Strange question, don’t you think? And yet, when I was a child, I sometimes asked myself this question. If I was very excited about something, or if got upset for some reason, that feeling was very strong and intense. So I would look at the grown-ups or at the kids that were older than me and think: are their feelings bigger than mine? How do they do it?

It’s fascinating how we see the world as children. When I couldn’t sleep at night my grandma would say: “Count the sheep. Count at least to 1,000.” This was easy for me to do, as in Sardinia we have lots of sheep. I could barely count to 100, and I’d be gone. I never reached 1,000 sheep. So in my head the number 1,000 was the biggest number ever.

I also believed that each one of us was born with a set amount of words to say. That is, a fixed number of words that would last our entire lifetime. Since 1,000 was the biggest number ever, and people talked a lot, then that must be the most each one could say. If you happened to die early, that was a pity, because you hadn’t used up all your words.

But what about those who were still alive? They just kept talking! Grown-ups, young people, TV presenters, they talked a lot. Did they realize what they were doing? Did they know that they were going to run out of words before the time?

I used to worry about my younger sister, who was a real chatterbox. No matter how many times I’d tell her to be quiet, she didn’t listen to me. Yep, I knew what was going to happen: most of the world would soon go silent, and I would be the only one with lots of words left to say. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Why am I sharing this with you? Because it makes me smile to think that children can see the same world in a different way from adults. It may be a completely distorted way, but still interesting. Since we’ve all been there, did you have any unusual views of the world as children? Did you occasionally wonder why adults behaved in certain ways?

Un punto di vista alternativo

“Le persone più grandi, hanno sentimenti più grandi?” Domanda strana, vero? Eppure da bambina a volte mi ponevo questa domanda. Se ero felicissima per qualcosa, o se mi arrabbiavo per qualche motivo, quell’emozione era molto forte e intensa. Quindi osservavo gli adulti e i bambini più grandi di me e pensavo: i loro sentimenti sono più grandi dei miei? Come fanno?

È affascinante come vediamo il mondo da bambini. Quando non riuscivo a dormire la notte, mia nonna mi diceva: “Conta le pecore. Contane almeno 1.000.” Per me era facile, visto che in Sardegna abbiamo molte pecore. Riuscivo a malapena ad arrivare a 100 che già ero partita. Non sono mai arrivata a 1.000 pecore. Quindi nella mia testa il numero 1.000 era il più grande in assoluto.

Credevo anche che ognuno di noi fosse nato con un numero prestabilito di parole da dire. Ossia, un numero fisso di parole che doveva durarci tutta la vita. Visto che 1.000 era il numero più grande che esistesse, e visto che la gente parlava tanto, allora quello doveva essere il massimo di parole che potessimo dire. Se ti capitava di morire presto era un peccato, perché non avevi usato tutte le tue parole.

Ma che dire degli altri ancora vivi? Non facevano che parlare! I grandi, i giovani, i presentatori della TV, parlavano un sacco. Si rendevano conto di quello che stavano facendo? Lo sapevano che stavano per finire le loro parole prima del tempo?

Mi preoccupavo per mia sorellina. che era una vera chiaccherona. Per quanto le dicessi di stare zitta, lei non mi dava retta. Ebbene sì, lo sapevo cosa sarebbe successo: tutto il mondo avrebbe finito di parlare presto e io sarei stata l’unica ad avere ancora un sacco di parole da dire. Non sarebbe stato divertente?

Perché vi racconto questo? Perché mi vien da sorridere quando penso che i bambini possano vedere il mondo in maniera diversa da un adulto. Può essere un modo completamente distorto, ma pur sempre interessante. Visto che ci siamo passati tutti, avevate qualche concetto particolare del mondo, da piccoli? Vi chiedevate di tanto in tanto perché i grandi si comportassero in un certo modo?

14 Comments to “An alternative point of view
Un punto di vista alternativo”

  1. Massimo says:

    Non avevo bisogno di chiedere il perché. Bastavano le parole e quando queste non erano sufficienti, il cupo stendersi di un giorno di pioggia bastava per tutte le spiegazioni.

  2. Don says:

    Certainly when I was younger everything seemed much more vivid. Feelings, colours and emotions, the impressions that the world gave me. So I can understand that children can have a different view of the world to adults. If only I could get some of those feelings back! The song ‘High Hopes’ by Pink Floyd sums it up very well.

    • martina says:

      It’s a great song, and it does reflect the vision we have of the world when we’re younger.
      Here’s the excerpt which sums it up rather well:

      The grass was greener
      The light was brighter
      The taste was sweeter
      The nights of wonder
      With friends surrounded
      The dawn mist glowing
      The water flowing
      The endless river

  3. Carla says:

    L’unica cosa che ricordo chiaramente è che quando ero bambina vedevo il mondo suddiviso in bambini e grandi e mi sembrava qualcosa di statico, e questo pensiero era rassicurante. Quando cresci, ti rendi conto di come invece le cose cambino sempre e tu non puoi farci nulla. Però, sebbene da piccola il cambiamento poteva spaventarmi, adesso da adulta mi entusiasma, anzi lo cerco di continuo. La staticità alla lunga mi annoia.

    • martina says:

      Interessante questa prospettiva del mondo: la suddivisione tra grandi e bambini.
      E’ incredibile come ognuno di noi percepisca il mondo in modo diverso, quando siamo piccoli.

      Personalmente non vedevo in se’ tale distinzione, ma solo la differenza di eta’ era percepita in modo eccessivo.
      Un bambino che avesse anche solo due anni piu’ di me mi sembrava super cresciuto, il concetto del tempo era stravolto. Un mese mi sembrava lungo quanto un anno, quindi una ragazza di 20 anni per me era gia’ vecchia. I miei nonni erano addirittura roba preistorica, poverini, se solo l’avessero immaginato…

  4. When I was a kid I thought that there was a God somewhere that uses us all as a puppet. I always looked for our strings but since I couldn’t see them I realised at the end that probably just gods could seen them, otherwise all the evil people would have been used us in a bad way.

    Another thing concerned the colours of the world. As a kid I believed that colours were born just a couple of decades before me. So I wondered how my parents and relatives used to live without perceived the reality as I knew it without colours. And I thought I was very lucky to live with colours.

    Last but not least, what I missed from my childhood are the sounds of the gates. When I hit some canes on every iron gates, they sounded nice. A lot of sounds, music, melodies. But in the end, they just emitted the same sound, but a child’s mind could be miraculous. I wish I could hear all these notes again, while now I can just hear the same dull sound, no matter how or I hit the cane on the gate :(

    • martina says:

      Wow! This is an incredible feedback, thank you!

      What an amazing idea, the fact that we’re all puppets and God pulls the string the way He wants. I like also the fact that bad people couldn’t see the strings, great way of protecting ourselves.

      Fantastic also the concept of colours. I wonder how you came about to this idea? And it makes me smile the fact that you at least were grateful for seeing the world in colours. You had a sense of appreciation even as a child :-)

      I really get the sound of the gates. We used to have gates with iron railings on our house, and I used to do exactly what you did: run a stick along the railings and see if they produced a different sound. And they did! And yet they all looked the same, how could the sound be different? We still have the same gates in my family home and I haven’t tried beating them for decades now. Perhaps I should try on my next visit. Will the sounds be different? There’s only one way to find out…

      • I guess the colours thing is that because of the b/w old movies.
        TV told me how the previous reality was, so I probably thought that the world could be without colours. But I’m no so sure of it! :D

  5. Jitka says:

    Hi Martina,

    you put interesting questions here :)

    I used to think everyone older than me – even my sisters 4 and 5 years older when I was primary school age ;) – know everything needed to live a good life. These were the times of the black and white East-West views of the world in the 60ties and we were living in the Czechoslovakia.

    I grew up since and everything got much more complicated. Nevertheless I still think that every now and then the adults should see through the children’s eye.

    Thanks for your posts,
    Jitka

    • martina says:

      Interesting what you say Jitka. I can see why you would think that the children older than you knew better.
      It makes sense to feel that way at times, especially if you’re a young child and still learning about life.

      I agree that as grown-ups we still need to see the world in the same way as a child does.
      Maybe not all the time, but some of the time :-)

  6. MGM says:

    Quando si era bambine, io e mia sorella, ma soprattutto lei, di immaginazione straordinaria, si pensava che ingoiando i semi dei mandarini avremo poi visto crescere la pianta dentro di noi…e si aspettava tale evento…
    Allora si decide di provare a mandar giù anche qualche monetina…non sarebbe forse cresciuta la pianta dei soldini? La povertà ci faceva piene di risorse immaginative…quel mondo dei bambini…

    • martina says:

      La poverta’ e’ una brutta bestia. Nel mondo occidentale i bimbi deprivati sono di meno, ma ci sono comunque.
      E poi abbiamo i bambini che godono di tutti i beni materiali immaginabili. Eppure, sono piu’ felici?

      Se ci limitiamo al puro concetto della fantasia, immaginazione, il sognare mondi del tutto nuovi e improvvisati, forse il bimbo di oggi, che ha tutto, potrebbe essere limitato, almeno in questo campo. Non sempre avere le ultime cose trendy, gli ultimi giochi e gadgets, puo’ costituire un vantaggio.

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