Facing the World

June 14, 2014
It is tough to face the world. It is tougher for a person sheltered, for too long, by intensive supervision. It is still tougher when such person doesn’t have the language that would act as a buffer between him/her and the world.
He cannot ask for clarification.
He cannot explain himself.
He tries to understand the wordless world by watching where the things are. He will keep them in the same place.
He tries to understand the wordless world by repeating the same things in the same order.
On the quest to decipher rules of the world, mistakes are made. The rules which govern one place are forbidden in another place. What was the rule yesterday doesn’t work today. The language offers flexible adjustments. Without it, the present is determined by previous experiences and rigid rules.
1. Years ago, in 2008, Robert would make his class and teachers laugh WITH him. It had something to do with Robert simultaneously wanting and not wanting to share his candies with everybody. He stretched his arm to share the candies, but then he pulled the hand back. He did it again and again. The children giggled watching Robert being pulled in opposite directions – sharing with others and keeping for himself. At some point Robert realized that it was, indeed, funny and he laughed at himself too. It felt soo good! Not just to share the laugh, but understanding his own reactions. Understanding that his efforts to reconcile two opposite drives were sort of silly. It was also important for Robert to notice that his peers laughed not in a mean way. He made everybody happy.
A few days later, he tried to do the same. His peers and teachers were seating the same way as they did before. So Robert stretched the arm and pulled it back. But instead of making everybody happy, he got in trouble for being unruly.
2.There is a basket of lollipops in the branch of his favorite bank. It is sitting on the table just by the door. It is understood that the lollipops are there for customers. Robert never forgets to find one purple lollipop.
There are also lollipops in the basket in the bowling alley. They look the same as the lollipops in the bank. Robert assumes that he not only can, but is obligated to take one. He gets in trouble.
The words of advice that Robert hears are two-week to shield against the power of things surrounding him. They only cause more confusion.
To increase the strength of words, they should precede the confrontation with an environment.
Before entering a place governed by new sets of rule, it is a good idea to tell Robert what he should expect and what is expected of him. With such a warning, Robert enters a place knowing that it is, at least partially, under his control. That he doesn’t have to be enslaved by the place, but that he, to some degree, is in charge.
The grip of the world as it is, has been loosened by a few timely delivered words.

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