Recently my boys and their friends were beating the shit out of each other. A group of families from our preschool had a group play-date using Imagination Blocks (my computer’s freaking out and I can’t insert hyperlinks. But having immediate visual of Imagination Playground Blocks isn’t something to lose sleep over.) Predictably, our wild ones used the foam blocks and cylinders to wail on each other.
We parents let them get some rough-housing out of their systems as we marveled, “They really are savages, aren’t they?”
That prompted more questions: “Is violence in our fundamental nature? Should we just let them go at it? Are we adults repressing our violence? Do we grow out of it? Should we indulge or deny it?”
Watching the kids reminded me of my favorite college philosophy professor. She was a quintessential Boulder, Colorado, hippy: long, gray hair parted in the middle, ragamuffin dresses, Birkenstocks, patchouli aroma. I miss that world.
Anyway, she marveled to the class while discussing the formation of societies: “I allow no play guns for my little boys. Yet they take my kitchen utensils and lay them out on the couch, saying, ‘Welcome to my gun shop. What would you like to buy an Uzi?’ while holding spatulas and egg beaters. A gun show. On my couch.”
Obviously our kids must resort to physicality when while they still lack the rational skills to navigate their “Lord of the Flies” worlds. And no matter how expressive our children may be, there’s always the other bullies.
So, sure. I’d say violence is in our base, animalistic, unevolved human nature.
But then…most of us grow out of it. We learn to control the urge to bite, fight, and insult. Instead, we talk. Especially those of us who aren’t the biggest and most intimidating. Vladimir Putin and Tony Soprano get to remain child-like and eschew compromise and intelligent conversation for their fists. The rest of us? – not so much. Thank goodness.
And so, as parents, we teach our kids to use minds, not fists.
Which reminds me of Trump and terrorism.
It’s fun to put those words in a single statement. #trumpandterrorism #terrorismandtrump #trumpterrorism #terrorismtrump #makedonalddrumpfagain #terrorism #trump
I know I’m stating the obvious, but somebody didn’t educate Trump beyond being the schoolyard bully. His parents (read: nannies) let him hit his friends with foam swords without restraint. Someone might have learned a bunch of words (the best words), but didn’t learned how to use them to lead, inspire, collaborate or learn from differences. He’s less-evolved than the rest of us.
Seriously: ignoring Trump’s staggering lack of substance, he is a child who thinks that beating people with blue foam imagination blocks is a way to lead them. Rather than learning from people with different notions, he shouts insults.
Kids and Trump: real life is a democracy. We have to listen and learn and get along with each other.
(To my kids: our apartment is a kingdom. What Daddy says goes. Not a democracy.)
Isn’t it better when we run and jump and build and play together? Isn’t it more fun to restrain our bullying? Yeah, it’s fun to hit from time to time. That’s what boxing classes and S&M clubs are for. But with the Imagination Blocks and governmental systems, it all works better when we aren’t making each other cry like less-evolved toddlers.
Plus, Trump is not just “saying it like it is”. He bloviates and pontificates and hurls insults when anyone challenges him.
Let me rephrase that for the less evolved children on the playground:
Trump says, “I like milk and cookies. I’m gonna take all the milk and cookies in the world and share them with my friends.” But when we point out that Trump should share his cookies, he calls us names so we’ll shut up and let him be the boss.
(And P.S. We all know he’s going to keep his milk and cookies for himself and his bully friends.)
And then there’s terrorists, another group of kids on the playground who want to ruin the blue blocks for everyone else.
At least they can give reasons and back up their brutality with religious dogma (albeit flawed and extremist.)
Not even Donald Trump can provide proof/logic/examples/plans/you-name-it for the circus of bullies he’s conducting.
So he’s dumber than a terrorist.
Kids: don’t be Trump.
Or a terrorist.
Use words and take a boxing class.
It is absolutely terrifying that he could be potus.
Love, love, love this! Thank you for crystallizing what I’ve been grappling with concerning Trump.
Mercy, Compassion, Hope
This is why I take kick boxing classes ….let my anger and frustration out and use my words during the day.
Love your blog, so thank you for that. And, you are spot on with your analysis about Trump. He is a bully and on top of that he also preys on people’s worst (often unfounded) fears.
My children’s school has an anti-bullying curriculum. My kids are in the midst of it right now so we’re hearing it from them at home. “Stop. Walk. Talk.” First you tell the bully yourself to stop. Next you walk away from them. Lastly, if they won’t stop or follow after you, tell someone. I think that Trump keeps doing what he does because it’s worked for him. Who tells him to stop? Who walks away from him? I think until he finally realizes that the herd doesn’t approve, he’ll keep going.
Interesting how deciding what to teach our children makes us re-evaluate our values.
Being a parent is part of one’s own mental, psychological, and spiritual growth.
How this turns into an analogy is great. I teach second graders about using words all the time at my job.
Love your blog.. And twist on parenting