Insight and adulthood

My grandmother told me a funny anecdote. One day I pointed to her belly and said “Grandma, you’re fat.” She then made an effort to lose weight.

As you know, children can have peculiar insight and speak the truth they know. They are both perceptive and imaginative. We see in part and a child’s view can be illuminating. But children ask questions we may forget to ask. It’s not epiphany, but something residing inside the young that pierces the fog of adulthood with freshness and undeterred vision.

However, childhood also used to be the road to adulthood. Today’s childhood is a created state. It’s not a recent one, but instead of poetry and classics, we have created the other worlds of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Disney, all the way back to the fairy tales. That Disney was brilliant is just a statement of his realization that childhood was ripe for his creations and seizing that opportunity. However, these worlds do attempt to have moral teachings.

Things like child workers in the West were things best left behind and we are best left trying to train them up through better fiction. I don’t think we can fully return to the denser stories of yesterday, i.e. Milton’s Paradise Lost is too dense for children’s minds. Maybe the quality of school curriculum is too far gone.

I’m not pessimistic, but toy stores don’t give the appearance of teaching children valuable stories, i.e. only an unsettled identity. Archetypes should teach knowing the good and not just “knowing yourself,” which today means escapism focused on dissolution of self.

Shouldn’t the old moral be in fiction now imparted to our children?


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