• Yes, It Is! No, It’s Not!

    Picking the cub up from school, I noticed a classic scenario that anyone with children or who was a child probably remembers.

    Little Boy:  “It is so.”

    Little Girl: “No, it’s not.”

    Little Boy (shouting)” “Yes, it is!”

    Little Girl (shouting) “No, it’s not.”

    Various extensions to this argument can be imagined (or recorded) by anyone with children.  Usually beginning with “You’re a poo-poo head.” and ending with a planet-wide economy-shattering sulk (and a grounding).

    I have no idea what the argument was about.  These cubs being somewhere between kindergarten and 2nd grade, I would expect it to be something that anyone over the age of nine would consider to be utterly inconsequential to life, the universe, and everything.  But to the two ‘combatants’, this was a serious matter.

    I think that there are a couple of ways to consider this.  First, is that both the parties were being extremely selfish.  Those with kids know what I’m talking about here.  One or the other of these combatants was not getting their way.  By that, I mean that the other party wasn’t immediately giving in and conceding that the first party was correct, the epitome of wisdom and knowledge, and an all around shining example of humanity.

    The second is that these kids had no way to properly evaluate their relative positions. They couldn’t see that a massive argument over whether another student’s birthday was Saturday or next Saturday wasn’t a proper response.  They didn’t have the skills they needed to reach a valid conclusion that both would accept.  If it was something that couldn’t be evaluated as correct one way or another, then they couldn’t see how truly inconsequential it was.  To them, this argument (whatever it was) was probably of epic proportions. I’ve known children who, after a hour long fight on which was the coolest Transformer*, stopped speaking with each other for over a year.

    This  can apply even if something is of earth shattering, job killing, importance to millions of people.  It’s even more stupid in that case.  When real people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake throwing a hissy-cow because one doesn’t get one’s way is the ultimate expression of play-ground intelligence. Shockingly, it is possible for adults to do important things and make important decisions without shouting “Nuh huh!” at each other… although it may not seem like the case if one watches the news for any length of time.

    The third is that, while these kids don’t have those skills now, they will learn these skills in school.  They will learn about evidence, drawing valid conclusions, research, appropriate use of statistics and data analysis, and gain the ability to ask questions, determine responses, and act as a reasonable adult.

    Or not.

    I wonder just what kind of example the US congress is setting for students (not elementary kids, but kids old enough to figure out what’s going on).

    The GOP thinks (or promotes) the position that President Obama is the antichrist.  That following his ideas will sink this country into a pit of sin and communism from which the end times will come and Jesus will come down and destroy the planet… again.  They say things like this and when people ignore them, because they want inexpensive healthcare and the ability to love whomever they like, the GOP throws a big ole sulk, goes into it’s room, and refuses to act like the adults that supposedly exist within the part.

    Then I wonder, why weren’t these people trained in the skills they need to deal with the real world.  Why can’t they negotiate in good faith?  Why can’t they not hold the entire world economy hostage because they think that if they don’t stop people getting health care, a bronze age myth will come back to life and destroy the planet (of course, they think that they are the chosen ones and therefore will go to some form of paradise where the heroin is free and without side effects, their wife (and her twin sisters) are Sports Illustrated models and they will live in a palace of gold and diamond, because they stood up for not being nice to people.

    I realize (long ago, but just now putting to paper) that, for the most part, our society is run by people who haven’t gone beyond a elementary student’s view of personal relationships. And adult should not try to dominate others and demand that they see his way (or follow his beliefs).  An adult should have something called empathy.  That is the ability to feel as others feel.  Instead of taking, adults should give… freely, without need of recompense.  A random act of kindness.

    An adult should also be able to own up to being wrong.  When someone provides a ton of information that shows that someone is wrong, then one should be able to say, “OK, I was wrong.  Thanks for explaining it.”  But it seems like the vast majority of adults cannot see that they are wrong, why they might even be wrong, or even begin to think about what would show them that they are wrong.

    Apologetics (aka justifications) can always prevent the unthinking mind from accepting being wrong.  “It’s a conspiracy.”  “It’s not because you’re a poo-poo head.”

    I think that I’m justified in saying that our government is acting like a bunch of 6-year-olds. I can honestly see no difference in the behaviors.

    Unfortunately, we just don’t see enough about our elected officials until the fecal matter hits the rotary impeller.

    If you have kids, or know someone with kids, do the world a favor, teach them to think and to have empathy.

    *In the toys, it was obviously Jetfire.  In the original cartoons, it was obviously Mirage.  In the Bayformer series, it was Ironhide.  And in the only good Transformers series (Transformers Prime), it was was Wheeljack.

    Category: CultureEducationGovernment


    Article by: Smilodon's Retreat