Interesting that these two words come together don’t you agree? What does it actually mean though? Well I’m glad you ask. Looking up the definition it states the meaning as someone’s original idea or plan. Mostly this seems to be an individual’s own idea but other definitions suggest it can be a group too. Consensus is an original idea, plan or invention.
Ok, so what? You may say. Well, why use the word child too? An acquaintance a few years ago whose name escapes me suggested that the reason why child is used could be because the idea was in its infancy. Now this is a very smart idea but there seems to be no mention of that in any definition.
Maybe it’s because it’s your idea and you nurture it, like you would your child. I’m not sure the origin of the definition but it got me thinking about what else it could mean. An idea can be seen as genius as genius in its most basic form is pure thought, something new. Someone’s brainchild is nearly always a new idea.
Now I look at the way children are, the way they think and react, dependent upon age and environment etc. There’s immediacy about their lives. They don’t think very far ahead. I guess neither do we as adults any more. Recent research shows are attention span is now rivalling goldfish at 12 seconds. Children generally also have no consequence of actions, they don’t compute ‘what happens after’ and have no sense of immediate pressure or responsibly and neither should they for they are just children.
If you ask a child to draw they will draw. If you ask a child to sing they will sing. If you ask a child to dance they will dance. If you ask a child to paint they will paint.
Now ask an adult any of these. OK, I will reword. Now ask an adult who hasn’t intoxicated themselves on large quantities of alcohol.
What will happen? In general terms I bet they won’t try and do either of them. Why? Because as an adult when we asked to do something we think about consequences. How will we look? Can we do it well? Will people laugh? Will we look silly? Will it be good enough? A child doesn’t think these things. He or she just does it.
To me this shows where as adults we are going wrong, and on a wider scale, where the education system needs to be completely overhauled. We need to lay the foundation for thought and discipline and then let our children’s imagination run wild, and thus continue that process of productivity into adulthood. Playing devil’s advocate it may even be while as adults some of us enjoy and experience the sanguine and serenity of alcohol.
Brainchild to me means an idea conceived without the constraints of an adult perspective. It’s an expression of thought without hindrance and always with hope.
Mark Scotchford © 11/08/2015
(Inspired by a great article by Lachlan Goudie entitled ‘Can anyone learn to paint’ for the BBC)