May 05, 2007

Norah's New Nose

onion_news404.jpgNew Children's Book Helps Kids Deal With Pain And Isolation Of Plastic Surgery. A nice little story about how Norah gets a new nose so that Miss Moon will like her better.

Of course, it is from The Onion. But despite the satire it brings up an interesting point: how do we present children with their automorphic and autotelic options?

Today we grow up being told that we are "good as we are" and that we should be ambitious, make something of ourselves. If we don't we will become failures - or worse, conformists. The exact bias of the mixture depends on which side of the Atlantic we grow up on, but we are sending mixed signals to the children. To some extent this is correct: an authentic life does not just consist of self-acceptance but also in self-overcoming, we should be loved for who we are yet respected for what we do, happiness comes from diverse sources and getting the right balance in life is hard and takes experience. But maybe we should actually try to explain this tension clearly to the kids rather than just foist advice onto them?

In particular we need to learn how to deal with the tricky concept that one can become better although one is already good. As David Zindell put it, "A thallow chick must break out of his egg, but this does not mean that the shell is without value." Maybe we really need a book "Self Transformation for Kids". A story about how Lissa The Butterfly changes from a butterfly into a beautiful betterfly.

Posted by Anders3 at May 5, 2007 09:56 PM