We were exploring many subjects. But the subjects that stuck for the longest period of time was ‘What is a living thing ?’
We explored different objects of his interest and held them up under the light of his ‘living’ or ‘non living thing’.
He was getting almost all of it right on his own. And the rest on some basic prompting. Out of curiosity on what his mind map was around this, I asked him how he came to conclusions. Teasing him with statements like ‘oh, but chocolates are wonderful. Why are they non-living’.
His prompt and clear response : ‘Chocolates are wonderful. But they don’t breathe. They don’t grow’.
Which brought a smile on my face. For with a simple answer to define life, he had brought to life, its defining essential : Growth !
Technically, he could have been speaking of physical growth and changes. My mind leapt to the other growth that has potential to happen till a human being is lowered into a grave. Growth that is deeper, taller, wider than that which is merely physical.
Development is an integral part of ‘possibilities’ for the future. Development is anchored around ‘change’. Change in knowledge, skills, attitude, behaviour !
Change when sustained, brings about development. Development that lurks and becomes part of a being, brings about growth !
Growth is the great sustenance for life in itself.
That airy morning, with a four year old clutching an outstretched hand, this lesson seeped in !