Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Like Children




This is clever, very funny and absolutely worth twenty minutes of your time. So go and pop the kettle on, make a cuppa and then sit and enjoy.  Here the writer, Alain de Botton, argues against romanticism and proposes a different blueprint for  modern day love.  One idea, treating  adults as children,  struck a massive chord.  It seemed  to have relevance beyond relationships between couples.

I'm not in the market of infantalising anyone.  So before anyone starts to think that I'm a patronising cow, let me explain.   When a child is stroppy we are willing to seek out reasons why they might  be behaving unreasonably.  Yet we are much less amenable to cutting  adults the same slack. Consequently we expect them to  behave in a restrained grown up way even when they're tired, burdened with worries, feeling a bit peaky etc.  De Botton describes what a wonderful gift is being given when someone is  'generous in the interpretation of the behavior of another person' and in this sense treats them like a fretful child.

Appreciating that the behaviour of adults  might be down to agitation or distress  seems like a wonderfully compassionate way of dealing with them when they're being difficult.  If my own friends and family want to foster a better understanding of my own inner child when I'm  tricky I've got another idea as well.  Please bring some me jelly babies and ice cream. I won't feel that you're being condescending at all and it might put me in a better frame of mind before you need to do all that analysis!

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