In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.
Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life.
The great man is he who does not lose his child's-heart.
~Mencius, Book IV
So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us.
When I grow up I want to be a little boy.
~Joseph Heller, Something Happened, 1974
I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.
~Bob Seger, "Against the Wind"
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.
~Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943
Everybody's 12 years old in an apple orchard.
~Rachael Ray, Rachael Ray Show, while making autumn stew, original airdate 11 October 2007
To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius.
~Rebecca Pepper Sinkler
Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air - explode softly - and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth - boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn't go cheap, either - not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.
When you're green you're growing, and when you're ripe you start to rot.
Adults are obsolete children.
A grownup is a child with layers on.
The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us. When the world seems familiar, when one has got used to existence, one has become an adult.
Some things can only be understood when you're in a tree house. With a pile of warm chocolate chip cookies. And a book.
I am often accused of being childish. I prefer to interpret that as child-like. I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things. I tend to exaggerate and fantasize and embellish. I still listen to instinctual urges. I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind. I never water my garden without soaking myself. It has been after such times of joy that I have achieved my greatest creativity and produced my best work.
~Leo F. Buscaglia, Bus 9 to Paradise
One of the virtues of being very young is that you don't let the facts get in the way of your imagination.
Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.
In my soul, I am still that small child who did not care about anything else but the beautiful colors of a rainbow.
Each man carries within him the soul of a poet who died young.
~Sainte-Beuve, Portraits littéraires, 1862
O men, grown sick with toil and care,
Leave for awhile the crowded mart;
O women, sinking with despair,
Weary of limb and faint of heart,
Forget your years to-day and come
As children back to childhood's house.
When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults and they enter society, one of the politer names of hell. That is why we dread children, even if we love them, they show us the state of our decay.
Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.
~Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, commonly misattributed to Barbara Jordan because she quoted Fulghum in a commencement address
My childhood may be over, but that doesn't mean playtime is.
We must remain as close to the flowers, the grass, and the butterflies as the child is who is not yet so much taller than they are. We adults, on the other hand, have outgrown them and have to lower ourselves to stoop down to them. It seems to me that the grass hates us when we confess our love for it. Whoever would partake of all good things must understand how to be small at times.
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
Always jump in the puddles! Always skip alongside the flowers. The only fights worth fighting are the pillow and food varieties.
If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?" Instead, they demand: "How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?" Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from French
Children ask better questions than adults. "May I have a cookie?" "Why is the sky blue?" and "What does a cow say?" are far more likely to elicit a cheerful response than "Where's your manuscript?" Why haven't you called?" and "Who's your lawyer?"
What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.
A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.
There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.
~J. Robert Oppenheimer
Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do.
~Jean de la Bruyere