CHAPTER XVII:  Open Doors for the Child

From this follows a most important possibility. People do not have to become hurt and irrational. Children can be protected from most experiences of distress and helped to free themselves from those that do occur. It is possible for children to remain their real selves. Children can be allowed to grow up and become adults and yet remain the happy, loving, successful geniuses that they are inherently.

This is simple and clear even though it will not be easy to accomplish. We adults do not begin the change with a fresh slate. There is no one to take charge of, care for, and look after the children except us adults, and all of us are severely distressed and conditioned to pass similar distresses along to the children, even though we have the best intentions in the world.

The general trend of human progress is with us. The level of irrational behavior is lower as the generations pass. With many irregularities, people are acting more rationally, more human, are treating each other and their children better as the years go by.

This encouraging reality should not be obscured by the fresh outbursts of horror and discouragement emitted by viewers who panic as they take their first aware looks at how bad things are without comparing them with how bad things have been in the past. The trend toward being more rational is unmistakable in human history and human society, even though it is very uneven. 

There is even clear indication of acceleration in human improvement, with only present mechanisms in operation. Many thoughtful people are aware of this. Their alarm has attached itself to the possibility that the improvement will be too slow to prevent social irrationality and hydrogen bombs from exploding together.

There is progress in human affairs; yet the almost systematic transmission of irrationality from generation to generation goes on. An "intelligence from Mars" might well view the people of Earth as explorers have described some remote and primitive tribes all of whose members are ill with malaria. Sick all of their lives, it is difficult for these tribespeople to imagine what it would be like to feel well. It seems "normal" to them to drag through marginal lives, able to wrest only the scantiest of livings from the environment, and too miserable to enjoy what they do secure. Each child is born healthy, with a full potentiality for a good, rich life, but, immediately infected with malaria by the environment, the child soon succumbs to illness and drags through the rest of his/her life at the level of the rest of the tribe.

The "observer" from Mars might see Earth's people as they are, inhibited by the distress and irrational behavior patterns they assume are "normal," seldom suspecting their own true capacities. The Mars person might see Earth's children as they really are, born with tremendous capacities for mastering their environments, for enjoying themselves and for living well together, but quickly infected with the same kind of distress patterns which infest the adults, and in due time growing into "typical" irrational adults.

Even the beginnings of understanding as to how humans are hurt can make a decisive difference in how much distress loads upon our children. Parents who understand these mechanisms theoretically will still feel pressure to be "upset" at their children but they can resist that pressure to a great degree, and their children will respond to the difference very noticeably. These parents will know what is going on when children begin to discharge spontaneously after a hurt and will let them cry (or shake or laugh or storm) at least part of the distress out even though they still feel the conditioned urge to make them stop.

Enough parents have spent enough time by now trying to apply these principles to make it clear that even small efforts in this direction show up in impressive differences in the children. In happiness, in school work, in attitudes to others, in intelligence and creativity, these children who have been partly protected from hurt and allowed to unload these hurts that occur show a clear gain over their companions whose parents have not understood.


Last modified: 2016-08-22 02:11:22-07