AN UNCOMMON THOUGHT

"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

28 July 2019

Seek.


While children must learn to control themselves, what they can never control is luck. They must learn how to live with it, how to dance with chance and mischance. Children recognize life is a huge adventure, and they must accept the dare. “Setting out to seek one’s fortune” is the readying line of folk tales, leaving safe harbor to meet luck both good and bad. Children play with risk, draw straws with hazard. A lottery, a lucky dip, or a lucky number all appeal to children’s knowledge that life is riddled with luck and that freedom means being able to deal with chance. But the risk-averse society, denying hazard and what is hazardous alike, is not only annoying but conceptually malevolent. It works against the child’s instinct to find a working relationship with chance and risk — otherwise their adventures cannot even begin, and they will remain infantilized, stuck forever safe indoors in the house “hard by the great forest” (as many folk tales begin), with no chance of setting out on the quest through it.

Jay Griffiths

CONNECT

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