There is a system of reasoning by which we set great store and it's known as logic. Logic is the undisputed key to understanding the world in which we live. But there is an alternative system equally persuasive and we all grew up with it as boys and girls. It's called children's logic. We dismiss it at our peril, for it possesses all its own parameters and its unique 'take' on the world is simply different, not inferior.
When I was a secondary schoolteacher I had a colleague called John Rosten. One of our pupils, Paul, had learning difficulties and was very dependent emotionally on us both. We taught French which, predictably, he struggled with. John Rosten used to drink bottle after bottle of water during the school day and Paul asked him one afternoon, with a frown of concentration, ‘Mr Rosten, if I drink bottled water like you, will I be able to speak French?’ Our laughter baffled him. For Paul the proposition was quite valid.
I once placed half a glass of water in front of a class of thirteen year olds and asked them whether the glass was half full or half empty. Some said it depended on whether someone had already drunk from the glass. If they had, then the glass was half empty. If on the other hand water had just been poured into the glass, then it was half full. Further to that, many pupils insisted that there would be more space in a glass that was half empty than in a glass that was half full.
When I was first confronted by algebra at the age of eleven, all I really wanted was to be told the numerical value of A, B and C. For example, was A equal to one, B to two, C to three and so on? The notion that A, B and C had no number equivalent was incomprehensible to me. The idea of principles and methods in the abstract was quite beyond me. Algebra seemed like a puzzle in which you had to find out the value of the letters. How could A or B, in themselves, be worth anything at all? To my relief the answer was occasionally a number, such as C equals six, so I assumed that six was always the value of C, so why not just write six? Crazy!
We're told as children that when we die, we go up into the clouds to heaven, although I realised as a boy that that would mean temperatures below zero and little or no oxygen. Who would want to spend eternity in an environment like that? We were also told as children that, if you are constipated for more than three days, you will burst. Very messy and unhygienic, I think you will agree.
Jesus said, "Except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven". So we shouldn't be too eager to mock.
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