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Making connections

Photo credit: Clint Adair on Unsplash

I recently read, in Ken Robinson’s The Element, a story of a blind six-year-old boy. Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield tells us that doctors were baffled by his condition and couldn’t work out why he had lost his sight because his eye was perfectly normal. Eventually they realized that he had been treated for a minor infection as a baby. The treatment included bandaging his eye for two weeks. At this crucial time, when neural pathways are being made, the boy’s brain misinterpreted the lack of signal from the eye’s neurons to mean that “the boy would not be using the eye for the rest of his life”.

It got me to thinking more about how important it is to ensure that parts of our brain are regularly exercised. I’ve talked recently about ‘losing’ your creativity, but all it takes is some focus to get it back in whatever form. It doesn’t leave us… as long as it is there in the first place.

What I mean is, we need to allow children to have the experience of being creative for it to connect in their brain. We need to give the opportunity to them and not stop them from being interested. I often wonder if we think that it costs money to offer children these opportunities, and yes, to some degree as they develop in whatever creative world they aspire to, there could be a time when they need some financial support. But, to start, when they are very young, just offering them a chance to explore is more than enough to fire some interest that could take them on a path unknown!


Obviously, if we had a crystal ball and knew what their passion was going to be, that would be wonderful and oh so easy! But we don’t. Children need to explore, and it is up to us to notice what lights them up. Sometimes things change. As a small boy, my son was fascinated by trains. Thomas the Tank Engine sparked that interest, and we made many a train ride, even managing to ‘meet’ Thomas himself! My son is not now a train driver, and after about the age of 6, lost whatever passion he had for the next exciting thing.

Let’s not confuse these moments for anything more than ‘fan-dom’. Had the interest developed into his early teens, then I would have expected some sort of train related career to be explored.