23 August 2010

Life

Always a curious mix of the beautiful, the simple, the complex and the hideous. The world.

What amuses me is just how wide spread the types of fears people have are. Just how easily they spread. And just how ridiculous they are in reality. How superstitious we get to be in order to practice living in a certain way as though it shields us against something dangerous, when it usually only shields us against... living.

The most dastardly harms that are inflicted on us are perpetrated by people we know, the people we trust the most and let live alongside us. Mostly strangers have the good sense to be ignoring us. In effect the problem with many parents is that they too often have an idea that their children are the most important thing in the world to them, so therefore everyone is out to get them.

Instead, the attitude works a lot more smoothly if you say "this child might be the most important thing I do for the world, so it's important that I let it grow up." The world can be a hideous place, with its own monsters both real and imagined. But sitting down and sitting still sheltered away from that does very little to protect us or to teach us how to combat them, how to deal with it, how to grow bigger and stronger than the things we fear. It's how we get people who grow up afraid, even terrified, of homosexuals or Muslims or black males or different languages or different music, and so on. They never know how to deal with something different, outside their experience, because they never were allowed to explore and to experience, to embrace a bit of fear and risk to satisfy a curiosity, to ask a question. Or just to take the subway.

So yeah. If I'm ever a parent, I'm going to be a "terrible dad". And I'm going to ignore people who actively meddle to prevent me from doing so. It's one thing to watch out, to be aware, as an adult. It's another to prevent a kid from having their own life. If I were the conductor of that train, I'd have done what most adults do when they see a child alone. Keep an eye out, sure, but not call the cops, that's idiotic. If a kid doesn't seem to care, and they're comfortable and unperturbed by their situation, why should we be more scared than a 10 year old while riding a train? To be sure there are situations and circumstances to avoid, to act assertively and intervene. But most of those are not things you're going to encounter "out there", as surprises and random events. They're usually ongoing things that happen "in here", in the house. Domestic abuse, alcoholism, etc. I'd be a lot more vigilant about other parents and warning signs of strangeness in their conduct than their children running freely personally.

In fact, from what I learned from scooby-doo (which I didn't so much), meddling kids are a good thing. It solves crimes and exposes frauds and hucksters. All while entertaining stoned adults.
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