I dread whenever somebody comes up to me, shoves a
picture of a newborn baby under my nose, and asks what I think about it.
Usually I answer something like "Yep, that's definitely a baby, all right".
This usually gets a chuckle and causes the picture-shover to forget that he was
trolling for some sort of compliment.
Let's face it --
unless the particular baby in the picture is extraordinarily ugly, almost all
babies look the same. That "sameness", by the way, is not synonymous with
"cuteness". Even though I have had three of my own, I fail to see the qualities
inherent in babies that tend to turn most adults into gibbering fools.
disorders to the contrary, all babies will get bigger, learn to walk and talk,
and will do silly and/or stupid things that observers will call "cute". Why,
then, do adults tend to put their intelligence in suspended animation whenever
they observe these things happening? After all, these same adults who are
apparently so deliriously happy that their baby is starting to walk and talk are
the same ones who will soon be yelling at those same children to "sit down" and
"shut up" when the novelty of it all wears off.
Another thing I can't
figure out concerning babies is why there must be special mention of them in any
news story about a tragedy in which people have died. You know the ones -- "Car
crash kills five, including a baby". I guess that mentioning the baby is
supposed to make the story seem more heart-rending. In reality, it seems to
point out a rather callous attitude towards adults getting killed. Is it any
less tragic that four others were killed in that same car crash just because
they weren't "babies"? I've often thought that we should be more concerned
about the adults for one simple reason that will most likely provoke a bunch of
fanatics to stalk me and throw large rocks. The depth of a tragedy should be
measured by how difficult it is to replace what was lost. Since it should be
obvious that it is much easier to make a new baby than to replace a dead adult,
that suggests that the bulk of our sympathies are somewhat misdirected.
Sure, babies can be a
source of joy for parents. Also, if not for babies, family lines, in
particular, and the human race, in general, could never continue to survive. At
least not until cloning is perfected.
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