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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh Those Kids

Clark just gave me two novel sentences, and even shot them out back-to-back. My pride was somewhat tempered by the content, though:

Fix diaper! I mean it!

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On a related note, it occurs to me that the adaptability and extraordinary good nature (or whatever you want to label it) of kids, are related. It's not that kids happen to good natured, happy go lucky, whatever, and that they also happen to be incredibly adaptable and resilient, especially considering their size and ignorance! Rather, those two things are intimately related. If we all acted like little kids (in terms of their ability to be happy in any circumstances), then we would learn the lesson of how little kids act in order to get along with people a lot bigger and smarter.

(Let me put it to you this way: When we hear of a blind guy, we worry about people taking advantage of him. But why is it that when we hear about little kids, it doesn't seem nearly as widespread a threat? I.e. even though there are isolated instances of bad stuff happening to kids, very few people would conclude "kids as a class are exploited" the way someone might reasonably infer, "the blind are exploited in this society.")

Finally, here is what I mean by adaptability in this context: If a baby is born in Paris tomorrow, and that's when I show up for a new job, in the beginning I will be a better adaptation to French society than the baby. I sorta know the language, and more important I know how humans have shaped the world, and can behavior in their institutions appropriately. The baby knows nothing of this; he or she doesn't even have bladder control.

But as time went on, that baby would become an infinitely better "French person" than I could ever become.

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