Thursday, July 7, 2016.  I know myself well enough to know that it is never a good sign for me to feel speechless.  Is speechless a feeling?  I don’t argue that point.  It sure is for me.

I have been contemplating for days now the action of creating a post connected to the powerful thoughts Dr. Christopher Phillips has placed within the pages of his book — The Philosophy of Childing: Unlocking Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason through the Wisdom of Our Youngest (2016).

This book is important.  Few among us have the capacity that Phillips has to speak for the essential humanity of children.  I not only finished reading his book — Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy – I notated the margins and underlined in profusely before lending it to a woman who has opened a fantastic new coffee shop in Fargo, ND (where I currently, and temporarily, reside).

I found a section of Childing yesterday that I have delayed copying into a post until I could summon the inner ‘force needed’ to get this job done.  This morning I hit ‘another brick in the wall’ of difficulty – as I cannot separate myself from the ‘lot of humanity’ (for reasons connected to the passage from Childing I include in this post).


Today – I need to also mention processes in America that are continuing to tear apart the heart of our nation.  Last night —

Philando Castile Shooting in Minnesota Leads Governor to Seek U.S. Investigation by RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA and JONAH ENGEL BROMWICHJULY 7, 2016


This is part of a massive problem in our nation, most recently following this police shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana


One of my dear friends feels “righteous anger” in response.  I feel deep, deep grief.  I know myself well enough to know I can become immobilized and trapped in grief – so this post is at least a small effort of mine to contribute to the greater good – because being human is a JOINT venture!

So, here from The Philosophy of Childing: Unlocking Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason through the Wisdom of Our Youngest – — — In my thinking early ATTACHMENT experiences are intimately connected to the descriptions Phillips offers about our experiences – and although Phillips is not mentioning the exodus of mothers away from their infants and young children as they “dump” their precious “luggage” in what I call “day orphanages” – I do believe what makes us most human is in this regard also taking a serious and devastating hit in line with what Phillips writes about as the “decrease in genuine intimacy” that IS the basis of safe and secure early attachment and therefore of the fruits the following words are concerned with.


“If compassion in the US these days is missing in action toward our most vulnerable, how might this be remedied?

“In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle asserts that it is imperative for us to be raised from our “Very youth…so as both to delight in and to be pained by the things that we ought.”  Who are those with the most highly attuned sense of compassion, altruism, and empathy, and as a consequence most adept at determining what we ought to delight in, and what to be pained by?  Many cognitive scientists and developmental specialists today believe the evidence points to children, hands down.  Alison Gopnik’s disturbing, important question is, “If children are so good, if empathy and altruism are such a deeply rooted part of human nature, then why are adults so bad?”  [I am adding some paragraph breaks for ease of online reading]

“Is it because, as she speculates, that “the impulse to evil seems to be as deeply rooted as the will to do good”? If so, why is it, as she claims, that the impulse to do good is so much at the fore when we’re young, and how is it that it is so often supplanted by the impulse to do evil as we grow older?

“To Gopnik, it is indisputable that “early empathy and altruism emerge in the close face-to-face intimate encounters between babies and their caregivers – the most intimate relationships we ever have.”    If this most intimate relation [sic] we ever have is getting less and less intimate, then it almost goes without saying that it will lead to an ever earlier development of less healthy – or more harmful – impulses.

“Even when parents are with their kids these days, they’re often not with them.  Rather, they’re ensconced in their home media centers or are absorbed in their smartphones or tablets – when they’re not sharing them with their babies and toddlers, quite often to distract or calm them so they aren’t disruptive.

“Studies also indicate that the predictable outcome when parents spend scads of time on their potpourri of electronic devices rather than engaging with their infants is that their language development takes a huge hit.  Same goes, in even more abysmal scales, for parents who allow kids to use these devices, even when parents are in their close company.  Surely, it will soon be found that this decrease in genuine intimacy not only impacts language development [and I would add, therefore, of development of the ability to THINK, as well – along with impeding the development of self], but spills over to hinder or stunt the development of empathy and altruism.

“Surely, the dearth of kinds of intimate encounters between child and parent or caregiver also severs kids’ deep empathic and altruistic roots, which are pushed aside by darker impulses that otherwise would never have taken firm root.  This is a tragic outcome, needless to say.  As Gopnik recognizes, “for genuine global morality we need to extend those feelings beyond our intimates to the six billion other human beings out there.”  {Today there are over 7.4 billion of us sharing life on earth.]

“First, though, we need to nurture those feelings for our intimates.  When intimacy is stillborn during one’s youngest years, we never develop much of a local morality, making the prospect of realizing a more global morality a pipedream.  If we lost the innate ability to empathize with our nearest and dearest, we can’t come to feel the pain and suffering of those we don’t know nearly as well, or don’t know at all.”  pp. 118-120


This morning on my Facebook page I posted this in response to the horrible news from North Dakota’s eastern neighbor state:


Such actions as these belong to all of us! Freedom? Justice? Shelter? Not ONE of us ever has ONE of these if ONE of us does not:

The incomparable Friend saith: The path to freedom hath been outstretched; hasten ye thereunto. The wellspring of wisdom is overflowing; quaff ye therefrom. Say: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Verily I say, whatsoever leadeth to the decline of ignorance and the increase of knowledge hath been, and will ever remain, approved in the sight of the Lord of creation. Say: O people! Walk ye neath the shadow of justice and truthfulness and seek ye shelter within the tabernacle of unity.” — Bahá’u’lláh

[written circa 1854]


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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.


Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame

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