Dec 20, 2009

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Children are amazing sources of philosophical insight. Imagine, if we hooked them all up Matrix-style in rows ... but no. The children currently visiting my family’s New Zealand Wunderhaus are particularly good at speculating on death; last visit the two older ones turned out to be nihilists. This concerned me. This time one of the main highlights has been overhearing their discussion on ways to cheat in a wrestling match – the superior-most idea seemed to have been to kill the opponent without the referee noticing, thus obviously, by virtue of the ‘3 second rule’, guaranteeing a win. That was pretty good, but (and I’m almost certainly reading too much into this) the real stunner for my philosophy antennae was the littlest one quietly wailing, as the others got in the car and said little one did up their sandals [reminding me now of this; Mark 1:7], “don’t leave me behind”. It was a bit sad at the time, but it was oh so human and I can identify with it to a scary extent. “Don’t leave me alone; don’t leave me behind!” is a concept that most humans can understand. Maybe we’re just social animals, or maybe we are more – I don’t really know I guess, but I know that in the face of an apparently uncaring cosmos, (and I promise I'm not referring to any End-Times books here - I'm just being slightly disturbingly genuine) I’d much rather not be left behind.

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