Tuesday, January 09, 2007

St Augustine and Babies

Here's a quote from St Augustine that neatly says something I get shouted down every time I try to say:

Afterward I began to laugh - at first in my sleep, then while waking. For this I have been told about myself and I believe it - though I cannot remember it - for I see the same things in other infants. Then, little by little, I realised where I was and wished to tell my wishes to those who might satisfy them, but I could not! For my wants were inside me, and they were outside, and they could not by any power of theirs come into my soul. And so I would fling my arms and legs about and cry, making the few and feeble gestures that I could, though indeed the signs were not much like what I inwardly desired and when I was not satisfied - either from not being understood or because what I got was not good for me - I grew indignant that my elders were not subject to me and that those on whom I actually had no claim did not wait on me as slaves - and I avenged myself on them by crying.
St Augustine, Confessions 1:8


Anonymous said...

Hmm. iThink® I understand what is being said in this quote, and I would agree with the sentiment. Why would people shout you down? Too close to the truth?

John said...

My guess - either they are overly sentimental about babies or they want to blame their selfishness on their environment or deny it rather than admit it was there all along.