The mother I’d like to marry
The maternal grandparents

Can anything really go wrong? (On the development of a human being)

[ 4 min read ]

What if the assumption that the development of a human being can go wrong is wrong?

How do we know how it should go? We don’t. We can’t know it. We can only assume. Often what we assume is wrong. Thus this assumption can also be wrong.

What if we assumed that nothing in the development of a human being ever goes wrong (that it just goes, one way or another)?

People are different by nature, they have different tempers, they have different experiences which affect who they are as people, which also proves that we will never be all the same and assuming that certain things should go certain way in the development of a human being is like saying

We all should be alike and think alike.
We all should know what the correct way to raise a child is
(i.e. we all should know that a mistake is a mistake, which also means that there should be no differences between us as to what is and what isn’t a mistake, which will never happen, even in a gazillion years).
We all should be able to see our own flaws and correct our behavior
(which is a wishful thinking to say the least).

Thus, is the assumption that there is a correct (proper) way to raise a child warranted?

I think it isn’t. I think there are great differences between people and those differences are the hallmark of our species. A scenario therefore in which people will be able to apply some correct method of raising their children (one which would guarantee that a child will not be screwed up in any way) is ludicrous. It’s unattainable.

Same with living. There is no one universal correct method of living a life. If we assumed it is possible to screw up as parents we should also agree that it’s possible to screw up as an adult (in our own lives).

What does it mean that someone screwed up as an adult? Who should judge our performance? Who should dictate the values? Who should tell us what is the correct way to live a life?

We will continue to mimic others, we will continue to yield to societal pressures, we will continue to care about other people’s opinions about us and fitting in (we will always want to belong somewhere) but as long as we can have our basic freedoms we will never voluntarily cede our right to steer our lives and decide which is the correct way to live a life. And as long as we will differ in that aspect we will continue to have our own interpretations as to what it means to raise a child the right way.

If I can live my life the way I want — adopt whatever life philosophy I want (because nobody can really stop me in a free world / country) and if that’s what we can do as human beings (because we have this ability to freely espouse certain life philosophies), and it will obviously affect the manner in which I raise my child, then how can I be found guilty of screwing up as a parent? It simply doesn’t hold water.

The thing is we have this ability to believe certain made-up stories (religions / dogmas / rules / traditions), see the world in myriad different ways, and consequently argue what’s right or wrong, and we f*cking love to be right. That’s us — the human race.

And if I as a person, and a parent, have things which we call “issues” or “problems” or “disorders” (which are the sum of everything that happened in my life, most of which I couldn’t have prevented from happening to me anyway) then how can other people claim that something could have gone wrong in the childhood phase of my offspring? With me as their father or mother it is impossible that something could have gone differently.

So why do we want to diagnose and find out what went wrong? A better question would be in my opinion Could something have gone differently in this family? And there is no way we can answer with a ‘yes’.

How can we say that something goes wrong in a development of a human being if there is no one universal formula of raising a child and living?

Can we say for example Well he died in his late 30s [committed suicide or had a deadly habit / addiction] because something went wrong in his childhood or in his 20s and 30s?

What went wrong? What if there is no universal agreement that something went wrong? And I can guarantee you that there will be no universal agreement.

We’re human beings and we tell ourselves convenient, nice-sounding fairy tales that if everything goes as it should in a person’s childhood and in her later life she will live long enough to reach an old age and she will be a “normal” / “decent” human being (will never do anything awful etc.). If on the other hand, this or that will go wrong in this or that phase of this person’s life as a human being, she will grow up to be a screwed up human being able to commit horrible things and we will say about this person that she is a beast, not a human being, that she lost the characteristics of a human being and turned into a (different) animal.

You know what I call it? A wishful thinking.
We told ourselves that it should be a certain way. “Normal”. How the heck do we know that X is “normal”, and not Y? We assumed it.