Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Re-emergence of "Traditional Values"

One day we're told that college-educated get married and stay married, and marriage makes you happy.

Another day we see reports on the importance of self-control, the famous marshmallow experiment predicts success in life (4 year olds told if they don't eat a marshmallow now, they'll get 2 later).

A third day we read about how London taxi drivers, who have to memorize all the streets before they can drive for hire, are shown to have much larger areas of the brain associated with memory.

[Just saw a piece on the importance of family dinners.]

 I can remember when the family was considered oppressive, something to be freed from, and divorce was a step on the road to liberation.

I can remember when going with the flow was the watchword.

I can remember when practice and memorization were tied to the past, to the unenlightened past.

I grew up in a time and place where family was the norm, self-control was expected, and strengthening one's mind was the result of habits.

What lesson do I take from all these: in part there are intellectual fads, in part we humans ride a pendulum of theories, never coming to rest on the truth.

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