Monday, 12 November 2018

Why No Child Should Ever Be Asked to Obey This Command
I saw it again on a movie yesterday, after having discussed it with a friend just a day or two before: the worst possible reason to do anything is “which human is asking.”

Specifically, the worst possible reason to do anything is ‘because it is your mother asking.’

Or your father, great-uncle, your pastor or your future self from 2289…

First, because it is the thinnest end of the desperate argument-to-comply that there is before you are utterly gutted of reasons and say ‘because I said so.’

Second, because guilt trips are so 1990. You didn’t like them, your kids will hate them, too.

And, finally, because in a climate of respect and mutual kind regard, cooperation is requested not required.

Cooperation is encouraged, not enforced

It is not cooperative or respectful to demand other people do things because of your status alone, rather than something sensible like ‘it’s a good idea’ or ‘because I think I can give you a compelling argument to agree that it is a good idea’ or even ‘because it is a good idea.’

Frankly, if you can’t even come up with a single sensible reason for someone to comply, clearly in the same position as them you would not do it. So, why, by the heart of any living creature beating, would anyone else do it?
Seriously, just stop.

If the only thing you can think of saying to get anyone at any age to do what you want them to do is ‘but it’s me asking’ you are bereft of reasons and you both want it done and do not want to do it.

In the world of ‘let’s pretend we’re grown up’ I always suggest to every adult everywhere: do what you want. If it is important to you that the curtains are perfectly pleated before you close your eyes each night (or before anyone sees them in the morning), do, please, pleat them. Yourself, if you think it is a good use of anyone’s time. you don’t want to do it, or think the work is beneath you, or think someone else should do it, please review the above recommendation: if you think it is important, do it. If it is important to you, you are the very first person on the list to get it done. If you want to hire someone else to do it, do that. If you can’t afford someone else to do it and it is too low on your priority list for you to (think it is important enough to) do… leave it.

No one else is here on this planet today to ensure that the priorities that are not important enough for you to do with your time, effort, energy or money are accomplished. If they are your priorities, they are yours.

...if they are your priorities, they are yours...

They are no one else’s. Nor should they be.
If someone else thinks the curtains need to be perfectly pleated before your eyes close for the night, that is their problem –-unless you have negotiated to be employed by them for what you agree is a fair value for your effort, it has nothing to do with you, no matter who they are.

A lot of people will dispute this, because they were raised in a different universe at another time. They were told ‘you have to’ and ‘you have no choice’ and ‘it must be this way.’ am sorry they were lied to. I am sorry that they believed it. 

I’m sorry it polluted their whole lives and now they are so angry about it that they’re trying to pass it on to other people like a venereal disease (if I have to suffer it’s not fair unless everyone else also has to) … but that is all between them and their therapists, which I strongly recommend they get for themselves, as they are clearly very unhappy people.

Please let this nonsense die with a previous generation. It is time.

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