By: Chris Tell
“Why is she so fat Daddy?” …looking at an obese woman struggling to get out of her car at the supermarket.
“I like your funny hair.” …said to a surfer with dreadlocks.
“How do you know that?” …asked of a religious, end-of-the-world crusader holding up a placard and yelling that “We’re all going to die and only God can save us!”
These are some of the random comments I’ve heard from pre-teen children over just the last few weeks. Parents of young children know all to well how uncomfortable children’s questions can sometimes be. We should relish the beautiful and at times brutal honesty they display without hesitation, though that is sometimes easier said than done.
Rarely is there any sacred ground. Honesty and a genuine unquenchable curiosity are two of the most wonderful traits of children; ironically, they’re also the two traits all to often lacking in adults.
Paul Rosenberg, the author of A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, penned a great article a while ago discussing a related topic on his website here.
The crux of the article is the argument that children are inherently free, having not yet been corrupted with dangerous ideas. Ideas placed in their fragile minds by Government-run institutions humorously referred to as “public education establishments.”
We have much of our current political woes to blame on a populace too easily led with corrupt and corrupting ideas. The indoctrination begins at an early age via “schooling”, then media, and subsequently socially.
Paul suggested asking pre-teen children the following question:
Should you be allowed to do anything you want, as long as you don’t hurt anyone?
Now, if you think about it the above question delves directly into the role of the state in our personal lives. Worth thinking about.
If you have children, grandchildren or you need to kidnap a neighbors for a few minutes, I’d encourage you to run this test yourself and share the results with us here.
I thought about this question myself, and why the answers differ between children and adults. Paul’s question denotes a bigger problem, though… education is broken.
I have written about this many times before, including a post where I described why I would rather see my kids throwing up from dysentry in an Indian hostel than nursing a self-induced hangover in a university dorm room.
The notion that our children, via government-run schools, are being “educated” as opposed to “indoctrinated” is an absurdity for anyone paying close attention. Once we reach adulthood the common perception is that we cease to believe in fantasy. Out with the Easter Bunny, out with Santa and in with reality, right?
Most adults believe in the pure fantasy that the government can, do and should educate their children. They also believe that the government can, do and should provide pensions, free healthcare and the myriad other “services”. All this from a morally bankrupt group of parasites who daily show their true colours to a near comatose, naive citizenry. At the rate that we’re headed, the biological makeup of humanity will have evolved purely to supply the head and hands with sufficient oxygen and blood, to enable the head to rest at suitable TV height, with the hands primed for updating social network status and voting on American idol.
Perhaps young kids who’ve not been brainwashed with garbage ideas yet will provide us with some insights?
It was with this thought that I took Paul’s question to my own two young children, both of whom are under 10 years of age. Now admittedly, my children don’t likely represent a “typical” mindset. Their upbringing has been anything but “typical” and amongst many other things has included home-schooling, time in a Thai Buddhist school (no, I’m not Buddhist, but I believe that only by integrating with different cultures and religions can one gain a fuller, more balanced understanding of the world) and an exposure to the world many think crazy.
I’m a firm believer that education is not to be found inside the four walls of a classroom, but in our wide and wonderful world. My wife and I try to educate our children from this paradigm. It is why I bought my son a second hand piece of furniture, and why I want my children to go cold and hungry. Yeah, I’m THAT kind of father.
So here are the answers my children provided to Paul’s question:
My son: “Not if you irritate them.”
Me: “OK, irritating might not be hurting someone. Other than that?”
My son: “Yes, I think so (looking quizzically at me). I wouldn’t be doing anything wrong. I think it would be hard to be doing something wrong if I’m not hurting anyone, right?”
My daughter: “My friend was nasty to me and she shouldn’t do that.”
Me: “Did she hurt you?”
My daughter: “No.”
Me: “But it hurt you emotionally, did it? So you’re still upset at her?”
My daughter: “Yes”
Me: “Is it OK to do that, then?”
My daughter: “I don’t think so.”
Me: “What about other things?”
My daughter: “If I don’t hurt people like that, then I should be able to do anything, unless I break your rules, Dad.”
Paul mentioned in his article that he wished to run this as an experiment, and since I was interested in the idea I thought that getting the word out would provide us with a better data-set.
Specifically Paul said:
I’d like to propose we actually run such an experiment. I’ll be pleased to coordinate and publish the data.
In order to ensure that the results are meaningful, I recommend the following:
- Make sure you have a neutral setting. Don’t talk to the child about liberty, obedience, or anything along those lines before asking the question. Make sure that you are feeling neutral too. You should want to know the child’s opinion, sincerely.
- Since children have notoriously short attention spans, ask the question only after you have calmed them and centered their attention. I suggest something like this:
Can I ask you a question? I want to know what you think about this.
- If the child answers more than a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ write down precisely what they say. Then, if necessary, write down your interpretation of what the child said and why you interpreted their meaning that way.
- After you write down the answer, feel free to continue the discussion with the child if fitting, but not if there are other study participants in the area. Keep them neutral.
As I say, I’ll be pleased to tabulate and publish the results if one or more of our readers want to run the experiment.
I think the results might be very interesting… and quite possibly very useful.
We would love to be able to publish the results from as large a data-set as possible. Let us know what your results are. I eagerly await the replies and will, along with Paul publish them once they’re tabulated.
Will the minds of children provide us with any reprieve from the intellectually dishonest “rules” that blanket society today?
Let’s find out, shall we?
P.S.: Paul will be amongst a host of incredible speakers and friends, who will be joining us for an intimate gathering in Aspen, Colorado this August. We have a couple spots let before we close bookings. You can get more details about the event here.
“In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults.” - Thomas Szasz