Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Beginning of Morality?

My little three year old was unwell this week. We had to give her a disgusting sugary medicine that she completely refused to take. To bribe her into taking her medicine I offered that were she to take the medicine she would get some chocolate. I discovered that this deal worked - but only if the choclate were held up while she was drinking the medicine.

Initially I was worried that this is not a good educational experience. It is clear to me that I have now set up a dangerous precedent, that I'm going to have to live with. However my mind was quickly changed as I remembered a discussion I once had with Professor Shalom Rosenberg - an Israeli philosopher who is surely worth his own post.

Professor Rosenberg claimed that the very first moral lesson parents teach their children - is potty training. It is often the first act that children are taught to consistently do - and one that clearly differnetiates between right and wrong.

He completed his view by stating that Rav Kook being a mystic saw the begnining of  moral education at the moment of conception. The parents intentions at the time are imprinted onto the child's soul.  I don't know what his source for this is, but if anyone is aware of it, please do share.

As such I realized that my little girl has actually shown some moral character. She was able to accept a short term hardship, for a future reward. It must be my excellent potty training.

Sidenote: I apologize for slow blogging which is due to my utter exhaustion from my cute little newborn.  I wish other bloggers a similar fate!

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