In the News (BBC): “It was March 2020, and caseloads of a novel and dangerous coronavirus were rising quickly here in the UK. Our Prime Minister was about to announce a lockdown. Schools and nurseries were going to close. Like millions of other parents, I was about to become my young children’s de facto school teacher. The idea filled me with dread. …
“Over the months that followed, many parents felt a crushing toll on their mental and physical health. More lockdowns and school closures ensued, along with reports of a worrying increase in levels of parental stress, anxiety and depression. Many asked themselves why this was so hard. Shouldn’t we be naturally good at raising our young without outside help? Didn’t humans cope without schools and daycare in the past, after all?
“As an evolutionary biologist, I do not hold the answers to all pandemic-related family crises, but I can say one thing for certain: as a species, humans are spectacularly ill-equipped to deal with parenting in isolation.
“From an evolutionary perspective, it is not surprising that many of us felt so overwhelmed. Despite the common idea that modern family life consists of small, independent units, the reality is that we would often benefit from help from others to raise our offspring. For much of human history, extended families provided that help. In contemporary industrialised societies, where smaller family units are common, teachers, babysitters and other caregivers have allowed us to replicate that ancient support network.
“This collaborative way of raising children makes us unique among great apes. Called ‘cooperative breeding’, it is more similar to how seemingly more distant species like meerkats and even ants and bees live – and it has given us crucial evolutionary advantages.”
“Cooperatively breeding species live in large family groups where individuals work together to raise offspring. Perhaps surprisingly, other apes, such as chimpanzees, do not parent that way. Although humans and chimpanzees both live in complex social groups, comprising kin and non-relatives, a closer inspection reveals some stark differences. Chimp mothers raise their infants alone, with little or no assistance from anyone else, not even the father.”
Question: We cannot do without the support of others; we are ants, collective creatures. That is what biologists say. Do you think this is our weakness?
Answer: In general, our individualistic egoism will not allow us to properly raise even our own children.
We are individualists. We cannot teach and we cannot show what it means to be dependent on each other, to voluntarily, correctly educate our children in love for our neighbor and not in love for ourselves. After all, this is what we show our children, and this is against the rules of nature—real nature, higher nature.
That is, if we educate a person to take care of himself, we educate him like a monkey. If we educate a person to take care of others, then we educate him as a human being.
Question: We aren’t engaged in this education in kindergartens, nurseries, schools, or anywhere?
Answer: Absolutely not. That contradicts our egoism, our foundation. We say the opposite: “He hits you, hit him back! Do not give in, hold on! This way you will be strong and you will win in life.”
Question: We teach to defeat the other?
Answer: Yes. We have created such an environment that only the suppression of the other allows you to survive and somehow thrive.
Question: So, why do we send our children to kindergartens and nurseries for upbringing, as we say?
Answer: What kind of upbringing is there? Monkey education! We have not climbed out of the level of primates and even worse. We should be above them in terms of social status but, in the end, we are not.
Question: So you think it is because of our individualistic qualities that parents got so anxious when everything was closed during the pandemic and they had to raise their children at home themselves?
Answer: They did not know what to do with this child because they were used to living exclusively for themselves.
Question: So it turns out that we send children to kindergartens and nurseries to dump them there? Just for that?
Answer: That is clear enough. You can conduct a survey and see how many people will say: “I send the child to kindergarten to go to work. And thank God I have a job. Not because I need money but because I need this job. It is better for me than sitting at home with the child.”
And how many women will say: “No, I am ready to sit at home with my child, and this is the most important thing for me”? If this is actually the reason and not to conceal some other purpose.
Question: Do you think that the percentage of those who send their child to kindergarten is two to three times higher than those who say: “I want to be a parent and stay at home”?
Answer: Yes. Wanting to sit at home with a child, I do not think there will be many of those. For the love of the child, to raise him myself because otherwise he will not be brought up the way I think he should. Wrap around it all that really should be there and you will see that, first of all, people are not suited for this. They have no such inclinations, such aspirations.
Comment: To do this, they must be teachers, parents, and everything. And also cook, and everything.
My Response: We are worse than primates. Primates take care of their offspring on an animal, natural, instinctive level, and they are doing the right thing.
And that is why monkeys do not get worse with each generation. And with us, with each generation we seem to become smarter, to develop something external, technology, knowledge, and we use it only to the detriment of ourselves and others.
Question: So we are not ants, as they say here?
Answer: No! We are nobody at all. We are a distinct, unfortunate, dead-end type of evolution.
Question: Is there a way out of this impasse?
Answer: Only through suffering. When we see where we are, what we have done, what consequences we bring about by our social relations, then, perhaps this insight will come. Today we simply have no brains, no desire, no feelings for this—nothing.
And if we ever, and I hope it will be soon, realize: “What are we doing? It should be exactly the opposite,” then we will have a lot of questions for the Creator and to Kabbalists.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 12/6/22