A philosophical question by a three-and-a-half-years old

Yesterday Niklas was glad to discover that I was working on my computer in the guest room, next to his bedroom, when he woke up.

He decided that he wanted to sleep on the guest sofa a little and allowed me to continue my work. He didn’t sleep as announced. He laid comfortably on his back, head on his palms and scanned the ceiling and the room.

“Mama, do I steer my eyes?”

The question startled me and I turned to Niklas to find out more.

He continued. “Do people steer their eyes, or do the eyes steer themselves?”

He has put this question in German pronouncing the word “eyes” as “Óigen” instead of “Augen”.

I was amazed at this question. “Wow! This is a very good question”, I said.

Niklas beamed.

I started to contemplate aloud about a possible answer. He listened to me attentively without interrupting.

Then I said, “I think it is both, sweetie. At times, when we want to see something, we direct our eyes to the thing we want to see. And sometimes we see something, what we don’t expect, but what surprises us and draws our interest.”

Niklas thought for a second, smiled, nodded and said, “Now you can look again at your computer.”

Phew! Exam passed.

Picture: Close your eyes and make a wish.