Reflections on the Day
Language has always intrigued me. For me, it is the English language. However, I am confident that my observations are applicable to other languages. Language is taught to children in order that they may communicate with us.
To me, there is much more to it. As we teach language we are also defining that child’s world. In order for the child to understand the word, we put it into context for them. This flower is pretty, this weed is not. We feed them baby food at first. We give them strained carrots and repeat to them ‘mmmm’, ‘this is good’, ‘yummy’, and ‘You will love this’. Guess what? They love carrots.
If you feed them strained spinach and they immediately spit it out and make a funny face you laugh and laugh. Now maybe next time they might like strained spinach, yet due to the positive feedback you gave them they will continue to spit it out and make funny faces. Guess what they don’t love spinach.
You teach them the word ‘Beautiful’. They overhear you seeing some perfect 10 and you say, “She/He is beautiful. Now a 10 to us is one thing. A 10 in other cultures/ethnicities might be very different. In Polynesian areas, I understand that a four hundred pound man is really a 10. The point I am trying to make is that not only are we teaching our children to communicate but we are also defining their world. We are teaching them beauty, love, pleasantness, other esoteric concepts, and biases according to your culture and your viewpoint on life. Different people will have differing levels of influence on the child.
It seems that we carry these teachings throughout our lives. Yes, some like spinach when they grow older but they had to unlearn what they were taught. An inconsequential thing, yet what other teachings lie deeper within us. For the most part, our worldview has been taught from an external source.
It is time to unlearn everything we have been taught. Every thought, action, or reaction I question as to ‘Who taught me that?’ Search within to replace that knowledge which is someone else’s interpretation of this journey and replace it with your own authenticity.
Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.