What is the wisest/smartest thing you've ever heard a child say?
"Hannah, I know the meaning of life."
She was about five years old at the time, and she said this in a completely matter-of-fact way, in the middle of eating lunch.
"Okay," I said, figuring I'd humor her. "What's the meaning of life?"
"To be stuck in a constant loop of eating and pooping," she replied solemnly.
I managed to keep a straight face. "...Ah. I see."
"But sometimes, if you're lucky," she added, "your poop ends up being cooler than your food. Like when you buy paint and turn it into art. Or when you learn lots of words and turn them into a story."
I stared at her, caught off-guard by the profound simplicity of her metaphor.
"The more you eat, the more you have to poop. And the more you poop, the more you have to eat. Until you die," she said, a little sadly. "But it's worth it if your poop is cooler than your food."
And with that, she turned back to her Brussels sprouts.