I was pushing myself down an aisle at Tesco here in Newcastle and I was slowing down because a young man with a little girl was standing, texting something into this phone. The little girl was looking at me coming, looking at the space that was left for me and then looking back up at her dad, he was oblivious all but his phone. As I got closer, I heard her call to her ‘Daddy’ to get his attention. I don’t think he heard her and I saw a wee bit of annoyance cross her face.

I was slowing to a stop when she called up, “Daddy, you are standing that that man’s way.” I liked the firmness with which she spoke, not rude but assertive. He looked down at her and then over at me. I was stopped then and I smiled and waved.

“Oh, sorry,” he said, “I was just …” and then he realized that the sentenced didn’t need finishing and he just shrugged. “Daddy,” she said, “you have to look out for other people.” This kids vocabulary was big but her heart even moreso. I told her as I rolled by that I appreciated her watching out for me. She suddenly got very shy and whispered a ‘welcome’ back to me.

It was such a nice interchange with a nice little kid. I liked it, but it also reminded me that the issue of watching out for others is something that is something that little kids understand so easily.

Pity that this kind of thing is called, disrespectfully, ‘the innocence of children.’ Because it’s not, it’s the wisdom of children. It shows were we all have come from and where we all could, if we wished, return.

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