I make no bones about the fact that this is a curious one. However, the other day I was, driven by my daughter, to read about utopian thinking, and not only was it insightful but it did get me thinking that utopian thinking is healthy.
The idea of utopia stems from Thomas More’s book ‘Utopia’ in which there is a society which live in harmony, and utopian thinking is the mindset in which we reflect on society and look to change it to an ideal version where everyone and everything benefits. This means that we are continuously evolving in our thoughts and are prepared to ditch certain ideas in the process.
As I read about utopian society where everyone is equal, where everyone works towards the common good, where jobs and responsibilities are managed by the whole community fairly and there is equal status and recognition amongst them, it got me thinking about the nursery class and our micro community.
Thomas More would be pleased with an eye-view into the nursery as the virtues of utopia are lived and practiced by the children.
Their world view is not clouded by the lived experience of the big wide world. It is fresh, open, honest, kind, good fun and abundantly wholesome. Problems have solutions and can be worked out amongst themselves, and if not they may seek the help of adults in the nursery. There is a willingness to embrace and adapt and keep it fresh and move on with creativity and imaginative thinking which embodies utopian thinking.
I was reading a lovely book about dinosaurs with the children, and it was a wonderful experience into the mindset of utopian thinking which is not to be constrained by conventional thinking. As we flicked through the pages of the book the children began to speculate the reasons for the different features of the different dinosaurs. There was one who had a red plate on its head – the book said that it was likely that the red plate was a decorative piece to attract a mate. When I told the children that it was to make that dinosaur attractive, one of the children laughed and told me that the red plate was a store of energy like walking around with a volcano on your head. And then we looked at a prehistoric squid called a cephalopod and observed its tentacles. I said that they squirted ink when they felt they were in danger, and one child suggested that actually they also squirted their ink as they liked to swim through it as smelled so nice, 'a bit like a bath bomb.’ Brilliant!
It all made me think that, in the presence of children, utopian thinking is always abundant.