a reply to: TerryMcGuire
I could repeat verbatim your post Boadicea and not disagree with any of it. That was an encouraging post and that kind of gem is why I still
visit this site.
Thank you. I take that as high praise and very much appreciate it!
All that is left after you have said it all is to maybe pick a small piece and tear into it looking for more stuff, like your opening
So let me question you ok?
Are we not manipulated as new-borns? Are we not manipulated as toddlers and preschoolers and on up the line prior to our ability to consent?
Excellent questions... and something I have thought about, both in theory and in practice (especially as a mom). In the final analysis, yes, we are
manipulated from birth to one extent or another, but we also respond and react to the manipulation in accordance with our inherent instincts and our
own unique nature.
Infants and babies, for example, act on instinct and physical needs/comfort in the only way they have: crying. If they are hungry, cold, tired, wet,
etc., they cry. At first, their cries are not a cry for help... it's not until their cries have been repeatedly responded to that a baby learns to
cry to have his needs met.
Then there's the "terrible twos" in which a child learns to say "no" and takes great delight in doing so! And that's when a parent has to decide just
how much intervention (read: manipulation) is necessary. For me, it was about basic safety. For others, it might be different. And how we handle
it will be different. Sometimes we have to step into a situation to protect the child. Other times, we step in to protect ourselves or our own ideas
about "good" and "bad" or "right" and "wrong."
Teenagers, again, fight every rule and every boundary a parent tries to maintain. It's their "job" so to speak... but more accurately, it is a
necessary and proper phase of emotional and mental development for the teen to question and explore and expand his thought processes and reason.
As young adults, we are still pushing boundaries as we try to carve out our own niche in this world, deciding who and what we want to make of
ourselves and our world, deciding who we want to be and who we don't want to be.
I would say, ideally, that at best, a child is guided rather than manipulated, and ideally, taught how to manipulate and direct circumstances, as
opposed to people. But we live in the real world, so the reality for every individual is different.
That aside, your final paragraph points to what I see as possibly the greatest short coming in people today, that is recognizing the mote in
another's eye while not noticing the log in our own.
I would only add that the opposite is equally true and equally problematic: People see only virtue in their own position, but refuse to see (or
find!) any virtue in the other's position.
I think war is a perfect example. I can definitely see the virtue of risking life and limb to defend and protect all that is good and right. But I
can also see the virtue in refusing to engage in violence in the name of peace. And I can certainly see where some accept war as a last resort, but
disagree on what event/circumstance determines it's time for "last resort."
All are positions of principle and virtue, and should be recognized and appreciated as such, and to serve as guideposts for the elusive "happy
edit on 18-3-2019 by Boadicea because: formatting