A little girl visited a farm one day and wanted to buy a large ­watermelon.

The farmer said, “That will be $3.”

“But I’ve only got 30 cents,” said the young girl. The farmer pointed to a very small watermelon in the field and said, “How about that one?”

“OK, I’ll take it,” said the little girl. “But leave it on the vine. I’ll be back for it in a month.”

Now there’s a young girl who is destined to succeed.

Children teach us many lessons. For example, kids are more creative and imaginative. Children don’t know what is and isn’t possible. To them, everything is doable. They don’t have the mental blocks that many adults have, and haven’t been curtailed by rules and regulations.

Similarly, kids also dream more and dream bigger. If they can dream it, children believe they can do it. They are more ambitious and enthusiastic.

When I speak to business ­audiences, one of my messages is to believe in yourself, even when no one else does. No one does this better than children. They believe they can do anything and everything.

Children are fearless. They don’t fear rejection or what people think. They don’t think about the future. Tomorrow is simply another day.

Children start every day anew. They are not afraid to try new things. They don’t worry and, possibly most important, are happy. And they strive to do what makes them happy. Shouldn’t we do the same as adults? You can be as happy as you decide to be. It also helps that kids laugh a lot.

Children forgive and forget. If they get upset, they typically move on to something else soon and ­forget what was troubling them. They don’t hold grudges. It is far better to forgive and forget than to resent and remember.

Children make friends easily. They understand that the best vitamin for developing friends is “B1.”

Someone else is telling kids when to eat, sleep and go to school. They can’t choose their living ­arrangements, make their own vacation plans or set their own rules. They are essentially powerless. And yet, they manage to survive and thrive. What are we adults doing wrong?

Perhaps we have set aside the childlike qualities that keep us excited about getting up every morning. Remedy that problem pronto. If enthusiasm and ­creativity are lacking, it might be time to reread some Dr. Seuss.

Children are incredibly perceptive. They can spot a phony with dizzying speed, and while tact isn’t always among their strongest ­attributes, their blunt honesty is hard to argue with.

Let me tell you the story about the father of a very wealthy family who took his son on a trip to the country with the purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They stayed with a very poor family. When they returned, the father asked the son what he thought of their trip.

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah,” said the son.

“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered: “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing? Through the eyes of a child, the father learned wisdom beyond the ages.

Mackay’s Moral: Kids will be kids, but they can be terrific ­teachers too.


Harvey Mackay is a Minneapolis businessman. Contact him at 612-378-6202 or e-mail harvey@mackay.com.