Thursday, November 12, 2009

children are people too - and so am I

There are a lot of directions this post could go. I'm still not sure this is the right one.

One of the primary values that I hold when it comes to Acorn is that he is a person, with all the rights that come with that status. He's not an inert lump of goo to be ignored, not a posession to be mistreated and thrown away, and not an animal to be forced into obeying the will of someone bigger than him just because they're bigger. For a more detailed take on this concept, go read RMB

One reason this is so near and dear to my heart: there have been (and continue to be) a long string of people in my life who present themselves in a way that says, "do these things to make me happy. Make me happy and I'll consider you worth respecting/loving/listening to."  The problem with people like this is that there really is no way to make them happy - their requests become demands, and their demands become ever more grandiose and crazy, and it's still not enough - it's never enough. It's never enough because I cannot make them happy - only they can do that, and they choose to blame their lack of happiness on the rest of us instead of getting on with their lives.

The way that "failure" is usually rewarded is with hostility towards the personhood of the person on the receiving end. Any attempt to stand firm and insist that you have rights - the right to have needs and wants, the right to have feelings, the right to hold an opinion on how something ought to be handled - is met with derision, because obviously you've already failed to prove that you're worthy of respect. But the thing is...I get to have those things because I am a person, and I exist. Not because someone else gives me those rights.

And yes, I want to protect Acorn from those sorts of people...nothing wrong with standing up for him, especially since he's not big enough to stand up for himself. But it's easier to just make sure he isn't in those sorts of situations to begin with.

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