The Fragile Generation

Lenore Skenazy and Jonathan Haidt in Reason on how many of our generation fucked up their kids: the upshot being that these kids are vulnerable to regressive group- think/hug at university. Because of this fostering of over-dependence and therefore of associated incompetence and laziness (mum will always intercede) these parents have only succeeded in frittering away their own valuable “me time” — and this will continue to encroach well into the free time they’d banked on once their children had come of age and had supposedly even left the house.

The problem is that kids learn by doing. Trip over a tree stump and you learn to look down. There’s an old saying: Prepare your child for the path, not the path for your child. We’re doing the opposite.

Even as adults, play, especially in liberal education properly understood, is vital — as Michael Oakeshott wrote:

The complete character of a human being does not come into view unless we add Homo ludens, man the player, to Homo sapiens , intelligent man, Homo faber, man the maker of things, and Homo laborans, man the worker.

I shall also use the word “play” in a wide sense, to stand for an activity that, because it is not directed to the satisfaction of wants, entails an attitude to the world that is not concerned to use it, to get something out of it, or to make something of it, and offers satisfactions that are not at the same time frustrations.