What Babies teach us about Love – Free Ebook

We expect of course for it to be the other way around. We teaching him but he has a host of important lessons for us too, if we take care to listen. It’s easy to play it tough nowadays, to overdo independence but to have survived we all needed as he does an extraordinary amount of care from those around us. He is a reminder that no-one makes themselves and therefore that we’re heavily in someone usually under acknowledged debt and should perhaps call, our mother. As adults we give love chiefly because of what others can do for us, but he doesn’t deserve much of anything. He can’t do a thing for anyone. He cries too much and is asleep most of the time yet we devote ourselves to him nevertheless. So he teaches us about the truest, purest kind of love. Which means giving affection without expecting anything in return simply because someone needs help and one happens to be in a position to give it. He can’t of course, tell us what is wrong with him. We have to guess; but what’s striking is how generous we are in interpreting what could be at stake. When he cries we don’t accuse him of being mean. When he hits or kicks we assume he must be frightened or momentarily vexed. We are constantly aware it might just be hunger, a tricky digestive tract or a lack of sleep. How kind we would be if we could be similarly imaginative around adults. If we could look beneath their surface behaviour, the unpleasantness, viciousness and grumpiness… and can trust that here too it was probably also just fear, pain or exhaustion. It’s easy to get sickened by our species, the greed, the status consciousness, the vanity, we should hang out with him as a corrective. He doesn’t care what you do or how much you’re making. He cares about laughter, friendship, people who are nice to him. We were all like this once. It’s society that corrupted us and encouraged our unhealthier impulses. He’s a political philosopher, he pointing to how we might all be if only the world would be newly and better arranged.

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