Will the Real Human Nature Please Stand Up?

I was in the jungle for 3 years before I saw what was right before my eyes. That the children never argued with each others. Not just that they didn’t fight. They never had a disagreement. I think of how we see children here…“Boys will be boys…”

We meet the expectations of our elders. We have created an anti-social population by our expectations.

Why do we have locks on our doors? Why do we have armies? It’s not just America–it’s all of Western culture. We have a grotesque idea of what it is to be human, and we are replicating that idea with our expectations, generation after generation.

These women have been taking care of babies since they were three or four years old. Children that age can remember very well what it was like to be a baby. They know what to do. By the time they have children of their own, it is deeply part of their nature. I would have been embarrassed to explain to these mothers that where I come from [NYC], women don’t know how to take care of children until they read an instruction manual written by a man.

From the minute a baby is born, we declare war upon her. We poke things in her orifices. We weigh and measure her. Then the baby is hungry, and we say “no, it’s got to be 4 hours between feedings.” We call it “colic” when these children can’t keep their food down. They’re so upset by what we do to them that they can’t digest their food. This is normal here in the West. It’s unheard of in these people we call “primitive”.

— Jean Liedloff, author of The Continuum Concept

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