I decided to start a new year with inspirational post with some popular quotes about my favorite theme: fairy tales. I will not provide exact quotes because I am lazy and I like to rely on my memory, but I will provide some additional explanation on every one of them. As my readers already know, I always choose three fascinating things on the subject, so here we go:
Fairy tales don’t tell us about existence of dragons. Kids already know that. Fairy tails are teaching us how to defeat the dragons.
This quote by Gilbert Keith Chesterton is trying to point out one very important fact about fairy tails. One of their most important messages is: everything is possible. Even the dragons can be defeated or tamed! This message carries consolation and inspiration but I will point out one more thing. Like it or not, fairy tales are always subversive. On one hand they are teaching us about our roles in the world, what is the role of a boy and what is a role of a girl, what is right and what is wrong and how we shoud do in certain situations… We can say fairy tales are basically conservative. But on the other hand everything is possible in a fairy world. Beggar can become a prince, king can be punished and the lazy son can get the most beautiful girl in the world. Looking from this perspective fairy tales are revolutionary!
One day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
Clive Staples Lewis certainly didn’t talk about age in this famous quote. He was aiming about maturity, necessary to dig under the apparently simple structures of most famous fairy tales where we can find surprisingly deep and powerful messages which can have important effect on development of human personality. It seems many kids are able to get the messages without any explanation and many adults can’t get them even if somebody spends hours and hours on fairy tales symbolism. This simple fact is consequence of different patterns of thinking. Children’s mind is not so organized and structured as adults which works much more economical but with many prejudices.
So this is what the quote is all about. If, for some reason, adult through this structuring achieves certain wisdom, he/she can understand fairy tale in totally different way.
If you want smart children, read them fairy tales. If you want them even smarter, read them more fairy tales.
Yes, this quote is my favorite. Albert Einstein, its author, also said imagination is more important than knowledge and I totally agree with that. Knowledge is certainly important, but can be in many cases too constraining. Everything starts with imagination. The power of visualization comes from imagination, every good plan needs some imagination, reason comes only after that and we should never forget imagination gave us all we ever had.
So, please, don’t forget children are our future and if something is good for kids, it is certainly good for everybody. Now go and read some fairy tales!