Proverb: Đi Hỏi Già, Về Nhà Hỏi Trẻ

Literal translation: [When you] leave, ask elders, [when you] come home, ask children.
English Equivalent: An honest man is always a child. (Socrates)

The broiling summer sun reminds me of the platonic and innocent world of children. I still recall the first time I heard this proverb when I travelled to my paternal homeland with my younger brother and parents on a north-south train. I remember the ticket collector asked my father how old my younger brother was. Because he wanted to save the ticket fare and my brother was small, my father said he was five years old. My younger brother immediately spoke up, “But I am already six.” For truth, you should always ask a child.

A child thinks honestly. without masks and lies. Our hectic life burdened with daily concerns in adulthood deprives us of a calm peace of mind. Children know no lies.  They speak what they feel from within. A simple doll or a toy car can set a child’s heart aglow. They know how to cherish the simple, rustic things that life bestows upon them.

We grown-ups should “keep calm and live.” Life is ups and downs, so share and listen. Ask the elderly to share their experiences because the have undergone numerous ebbs and tides in life. They are rich in experience and understand the tumults of life. Talk more with children because their honesty and genuineness can smooth over complicated things and make life more simple.

by Yen Le

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