20 Apr 05
The Origins of Distrust
The past two days, the same unpleasant thing has happened. This was the scenario: I was on my way to a lecture, a little late. Close to the building where the lecures are held, there's a day nursery. A group of children confronted me at the gate, asking “Wanna buy a mayflower?“. As far as I know, mayflowers are a certain kind of small pins, that looks a bit different year, so that you can't fool anyone to think you've bought one if you haven't. The revenue goes to charity, presumably to something related to children.
So, when they asked me, I didn't know what to say. I didn't have any cash on me, but that sounds stupid in a child's ear. “I'm in a hurry“ sounds cruel. “Nah, don't think so“ sounds equally bad. There was no good way out. With children, you just can't snap them off by saying “No!“ and running away. They are innocent and should not be exposed to the cynicisms of the adult world. You shouldn't lie either, because a child who is constantly being told lies, is most certainly grow up to be a liar itself. So, what did I do? Dear God, both today and yesterday, I quickly PRETENDED to look for cash in my pocket, found none, mumbled "uhmm.. haven't got any money on me“, looked insecure and ran off. I am now fairly certain that I've planted a seed of distrust in at least four children.
written by Mattias