Preserving your inner child

If only we could preserve our inner child we would not let education and growing up get in the way of evolving into curious, compassionate and creative human beings.

This thought. has been on top of my mind since my professor in design school set a goal for us to “reclaim our childlike freshness” through the design foundation program. Several decades later my understanding of what it means to preserve my inner child became clearer when I heard Sir Ken Robinson say,

“Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. And it’s the one thing that I believe we are systematically jeopardizing in the way we educate our children and ourselves.”

I dedicate my next project, a book of poems to children – to help them learn to preserve their inner child. The first thing I did after deciding to publish this book is to seek guidance from several children. I invited children between the ages 5 and 13 to draw a sketch of the character that represents their inner voice – one that they have a conversation with when they feel, confused, upset or angry. I realized that this inner voice is indeed the voice of their inner child .

One of the children, a ten year old girl from Michigan, drew a character that I found most evocative. I developed several iterations of this sketch and shared them with friends and their children. Children made an instant emotional connection with this character. Their imagination began to fly. One girl climbed on a dining table and demonstrated how this character would dance. I found a central character for my book. Bobo was born from the collective creativity of children.

My next step is to develop the right approach to introducing Bobo to the collective imagination of children. I would like my book to be a platform for children to develop a relationship with Bobo and for Bobo to emerge as a metaphor for their inner child.

Here is the poem in which I introduce Bobo. The book will evolve through a dialogue with children. This would be my contribution as a designer to influence social imagination with the primary purpose of preserving the inner child.

find your bobo

bobo is

the child inside you:

your best friend

bobo

understands you

when you feel

confused

upset or

angry

you can talk to

bobo

when you feel happy

you can sing and dance

with Bobo

you can find Bobo

in your imagination

you can see bobo

with your eyes closed

you can hear bobo

in a quiet room

bobo never

leaves you alone

when people grow up

and forget their bobo

they lose

the child inside

when they lose

the child inside

they lose

curiosity

love and

creativity

in bobo

you will always

have a friend

when

you need one.

find your bobo

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