Once upon a time when we were all children and we used to read children’s books, we used to always look for the morals at the end of the story –morals that crystallized the learnings for us, that taught us right from wrong, good from evil.
Today, far removed from the black and white angelic world of childhood, as we sit surrounded by the quagmire of grey and the wall of cynicism that surrounds us, children’s stories might seem to be an alien concept to us-only fit for reading at bedtime to our children, at best.
But reading them again today, with my daughter, I find new meaning in the old tales, new power in the words that the much-loved characters used to say, new lessons for life today.
We may not want to read the morals again, but some of the simplest dialogues in our best-loved childhood books hold some powerful lessons for the struggles we go through in life. A few are mentioned below:
From Alice in Wonderland
A wonderfully clear message when we are fighting confusion in life and looking for the right road to turn to
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where –"
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go.
On change and what that means
“I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”
From Winnie the Pooh
When you lose faith and need to believe in yourself all over again
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you believe and smarter than you think”
On friendship, in a cynical adult world when we start believing more in Facebook likes than real friendships
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
From the Little Prince
On the power of the heart when the mind is all you can hear
“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”
On loneliness and being alone
“Where are the people?” resumed the little prince at last. “It’s a little lonely in the desert…” “It is lonely when you’re among people, too,” said the snake.”
A quote for the dark times when we are tempted to take short-cuts in life
“If you are good life is good.”
On the power of dreams, when all we can worry about is survival
“Matilda said, "Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable...