Struck by a wave of random joyfulness, I returned home from tuition one day galloping with my front hoofs up. My mother, seeing my excitement, interrupted: “Finish your homework first!” I was momentarily puzzled. I can’t be happy until I finish my homework? Then I realized she misinterpreted my hand gestures. She thought I was asking for permission to play games on the computer. I was amused.
That happened when I was still in Primary School. At that formative stage, my parents were my biggest influences. It goes without saying that the way they parent me will have effects on my subsequent life. And so it was interesting to read Annette Lareau’s basic but influential classification of two types of parenting styles: Natural Growth vs Concerted Cultivation. The theory is based on 137 interviews and intensive observations of 12 families in the US, comprising 4 each of middle-class, working-class, and poor families with kids aged 8 to 10.
A place that brings us together. And bonds us further. Even when we are apart.
This is the promise of social media. Or as it appears now, the edge of the Earth we will never reach. Scroll all you wish, you are never getting to the end of the news feed. But we keep scrolling, because we aren’t satisfied with our haul. Maybe it is our problem, for being too discontent. Maybe it is others’ problem, for being too disagreeable.
Or maybe it is the news feed’s problem.
Sweden is the chocolate factory for the modern developed world. Whenever our problems need an outlet, we crave for more endorphins. We look for the handy jar of Swedes. It was the case with education, free and rote-free. So it is now, with the 6-hour workday making the rounds on the Internet, even if it isn’t exactly news and remains the exception even in this seeming real-life utopia.
Why do we watch sports? You can do the research, but I’m guessing we are looking for heroes. Heroic stories to rouse us from the monotony of our everyday routines. Maybe even restore our faith in humanity, battered too much by terrorist attacks, keyboard warriors, and Donald Trump insults.