Time Traveling

“I can’t determine what will happen to my son when he grows up. I can’t tell whether he will get to go to Berkeley, or whether he will have a good wife. But I can determine what will happen to him when he is a child. I can determine that he will get to go to a leafy playground and a preschool full of sandboxes and pet fish and toys. I can determine that he will have a picnic by the beach and hot chocolate in front of the fire. And, at least to some extent, I can determine that he will have a good mother (though this is tougher than the picnics and hot chocolate).

We can control one very important aspect of our children’s adult lives. We can determine whether they grow up to be adults who remember leafy playgrounds and picnics and affectionate parents. We can’t ensure that our children will have a happy future – there, all we can do is move the odds around. But we can at least try to ensure they they will have a happy past.”

Alison Gopnik, “The Philosophical Baby”


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