Overheard on the playground this morning:
Four-year-old girl: Ow, owee, owee, owee! (little girl had run into a little boy when he stopped running abruptly)
Four-year-old boy: Sorry Astrid! (stops, running, looks at her, and says in earnestness)
Girl: It's okay. (still a little sad)
Wow. Good parenting to both of those parents for teaching their kids empathy and respect. Coincidentally, I was on my way to my Developmental Psych class, in which we are learning about this age group and cognitive growth. I'd say these two kids are doing okay.
Now, how would this go with, say two 39 year olds?
Woman: Ow, that hurt.
Man: Oh, sorry. Didn't see you there. (not looking at her, certainly not sincere)
Woman: Gee, thanks. (sarcasm dripping)
Man: I said I was sorry! Jesus. (completely irritated)
Where is the disconnect? How do we get from simple decency, to outright failure to acknowledge to thinly veiled hostility? Ah, yes, subtext. Hidden resentments, all that fun grown-up stuff. This could be a scene from our household on any given day, and I know I am not alone here, folks.
I think I will act like a four year-old for the rest of the day, and see how it goes. Peace.