Mantras to help get you through life, created by 6-year-olds
When students become the teachers.
This article was originally published on 3.2.23.
Kids might say the darnedest things, but occasionally they also give sage advice.
A teacher in the United Kingdom by the name of George Pointon has made a name for himself by tweeting his 6-year-old students’ comical, candid and sometimes profound answers to weekly questions.
Or, as he humorously writes in his Twitter bio, “exploiting children’s imagination for likes.”
One of my favorite threads so far is when Pointon asked his students to create a “mantra to help us through life.” The teacher posted each student's response, along with some commentary.
It’s all some noteworthy food for thought, if not harmless, wholesome entertainment.
Best of all, the genuine affection Pointon has for his students is undeniable.
Rory: "Don't stop running"
Pointon: “The other day I grunted when picking up my keys from the table. If I didn't stop running, I'd die. Rory has gone for the Forrest Gump approach here. It seemed to work for him. Forrest that is. I've seen Rory run into multiple trees. Persistent tho.”
Rory might be running into trees, but some spot-on perspectives on life as well.
JJ: "Only be friends with people who you want to be friends with"
Pointon: “This gets forgotten about in adults. Sometimes we are friends with people out of convenience or history. Look around and ask yourself, "does this person positively impact my life?". JJ has his head screwed on.”
JJ understands the value of authentic friendship. And, as Pointon reflected, setting boundaries and letting go is something so many adults struggle with, though there are countless sources noting its importance.
Jack: "You might [get] told off but sometimes you're not doing anything wrong"
Pointon: “His anti-authority attitude is refreshing as it is scary. He's right tho. Fight for what you believe in and it's never wrong. Although Jack believes he can back flip over a lorry, so I don't know.”What’s a lorry, you may ask? Turns out it’s a British term for an 18-wheeler. I didn’t know either.
Ravi: "Some people don't have anything so be happy you have everything"
Pointon: “We truly are in the presence of greatness. There are world leaders without this clarity. Step back and look at what we take for granted, you'll be amazed. Ravi elevates people around him. He's a special lad.”
I believe this was a major theme that “Don’t Look Up” was trying to convey. Well done, Ravi.
Lola: "You can't swim in a sink but a bath is just a big sink"
Pointon: “I believe she's talking about perspective. One person's baby step is another's giant leap. Lola moves at her pace and is proud of the people around her moving at theirs. Otherwise you'll lose a one horse race.”
I’m gonna assume Lola is also a proponent of the “just keep swimming” mentality.
Emma: "The people who don't talk, still have something to say"
Pointon: “Empty vessels makes the most noise. Emma is quiet and has grown in confidence since I've known her. She is an advocate for letting people be themselves. A true woman of her time. She'll make an excellent leader.”
Hear, hear for quiet confidence, Emma.
Belle: "Flowers live in the ground, we live in a house. Everyone lives somewhere."
Pointon: “It's a huge, overwhelming concept to think every individual lives an equally complex and rich life as you. Knowing that everyone is coming from something make[s] you see we're all the same. One team.”
A lesson in empathy, taught by Belle.
Mikey: "Mud hills are fun but also muddy"
Pointon: “I'd never heard of the term "mud hill" but I assumed it's a hill, that is muddy. I was wrong. It’s basically a pile of mud mashed up and used to throw at cars or people...So if you see a boy holding a mud ball with a devilish grin, run.”
No such thing as good, clean fun, according to Mikey.
Zahra: "Some things are cool and some things aren't"
Pointon: “There is no messing about with Zahra. A woman of precision. She wanted to add that if you find things cool, then it is. Which in itself is a pretty cool thing to say. If you enjoy something, don't let other[s] bring you down.”
Zahra is clearly the Queen of Cool.
Susanna: "Don't start a fire in a forrest"
Pointon: “I take this as, understanding your situation and objectively being able to know what is benefitting you and what isn't. But Susanna confirmed that there is no subtext. Just don't start fires in forrests because it goes whoosh, okay.”
I also love how Pointon was loyal to Susanna’s spelling of the word “forrest.” That dedication right there.
According to indy100, Pointon protects the identity of his young pupils by using made-up aliases. But reassured, the answers provided are all too real.Pointon told indy100, “School can sometimes make you think quite linear, like there are only right or wrong answers but, especially with them being so young, their thoughts are actually really abstract.”
Passion, purpose, and a dash of social media stardom have allowed Pointon to help raise awareness around children’s issues. Last November he worked with the Anti-Bullying Alliance, asking the question “what makes you unique?”
For Zahra, it was her two different eye colors. For Susanna, it was the fact that she could fit 100 grapes in her mouth (Pointon isn’t so sure, but encouraging nonetheless).
Pointon hopes to work with even more charities, using his platform to “have conversations with children about things that need to be spoken about, or things that are going on in the world and get their point of view on things.”In the meantime, you can catch all of Pointon’s thoughtful questions, along with his students’ endearing and brilliant answers, on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on 01.28.22