17 February, 2012

Quotable Quotes


This quote comes from The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

The problem is that children believe what adults say and, once they're adults themselves, they exact their revenge by deceiving their own children. "Life has meaning and we grown-ups know what it is" is the universal lie that everyone is supposed to believe. Once you become an adult and you realise that's not true, it's too late. the mysery remains intact, but all you availavle energy has long ago been wasted on stupid things. All that's left is to anaesthetise yourself by trying to hide the fact that you can't find any meaning in your life, and then, the better to convince yourself, you deceive your own children.
...People aim for the stars, and they end up like goldfish in a bowl. I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler  just to teach children right from the start that life is absurd. That might deprive you of a few good moments in your childhood but it would save you a considerable amount of time as an adult - not to mention the fact that you'd be spared at least one traumatic experience, i.e. the goldfish bowl.

I read this just before I went to sleep last night and it struck me. I think we do try to protect children too much - either for their sake or ours. While I don't think we should disclose every little thing about the world and the horrors of it, I think too often we do a disservice to our kids by not letting them know it's not all roses.  It's a discussion I have frequently at the moment as rumours fly over the possibility that a very well known pedophile has been moved back into the area we live in. Some feel it's best to tell the kids nothing. To me that is dangerous. I don't give my kids all the gory details, but I do believe forwarned is forarmed. They have seen his picture, they know he hurts kids (no more details than that), they know if they see him they are to go to a trusted adult IMMEDIATELY and they know if anyone grabs them, they are to kick, scream, yell - whatever it takes.
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