No, we shall dance
Dress in colours
And teach our children
To make the world more beautiful.
Because our life
Is shorter than flowers.
Gopnik is a professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. She’s got a mean way with metaphors, and her main idea is that we should raise our children like gardeners, creating the right conditions for our children to grow and bloom, rather than sculpting them—acting like carpenters who attempt to shape and create their children with a desired outcome in mind. Carpenters often try to build replicas of themselves. Gardening involves a bit more humility: it acknowledges that you can’t make a shy child become outgoing, anymore than you make a loud one shut up. But you still can play huge role in supporting the shy one to become more comfortable in groups, or teaching the loud one how to create space for others.
The remembered thinking self is like the string that holds together the pearls of our experiences. The pearls and the string together form the story of our lives—what we think and feel and who we are. We base all our choices on this life story, but our life story is not always the best basis for decision making. The way that we remember our experiences is very different than the active process of experiencing—our minds create illusions that impact how we remember experiences.
Kay Peterson | How You Learn Is How You Live: Using Nine Ways of Learning to Transform Your Life