I was in the Vet's office with my dog and a woman was there with her three month old granddaughter in one of those humongous strollers people have now that turn into a car seat somehow. I don't get how they work but I don't need to know since, chances are, I'll never have a three month old child to worry about.
Anyhow, I watched how people reacted to the baby. People make silly faces at babies and say things you don't normally hear in conversation like: "Goo-goo, whoo-whoo, baby, baby". One young Asian woman even took out her car keys and shook them for the baby, making faces and talking in non-sense syllables.
Here's what I was pondering while all that was going on.
What if we all greeted each other, friends and strangers, the way we greet unknown babies? What if we made silly faces and did baby talk and shook our car keys at each other in the store or on the street or when someone came to our house? What if 'passing the peace' at church consisted of babbling and funny faces and shaking shiny things to each other?
What if each of the Presidential debates had begun with Romney and Obama making silly faces at each other and going "Goo-Goo, Boo-Boo!" and showing each other their keys?
What if the beginning of each meeting of the House and Senate was that kind of behavior? Or the prelude to arguments before the Supreme Count, or the opening ceremony of the UN's general assembly?
Imagine Palestinians and Jews passing each other making funny faces and saying silly things and shaking shiny objects?
I mean really, what a baby causes us to do is to find the very depths of our silliness and affection and willingness to look foolish. In other words--our best of all Angel.
It would be hard to have an enemy if we were being silly and affectionate and foolish to each other all the time. And there's no way you could consider fighting a war with people who danced around making faces flashing car keys at you....
This may just be the simplest way to find an atmosphere of acceptance of differences and a forum for settling difficult disputes. And the remarkable thing, if you think about it for just a moment, is that it would be completely natural and right: we were all babies at some point and people made faces, sputtered nonsense and shook keys at us. We'd just be doing that for each other.
Wouldn't that be a way to acknowledge the 'baby-ness' of each of us? And after we'd made fools of ourselves to each other, wouldn't it be terribly difficult to be disagreeable and hostile to each other?
My wife told me to stop talking about this long before I got as far as I've gotten writing it down. So I made funny faces at her and said "Goo-Goo, Maac-Maac" and showed her my keys. She laughed.
I think I'm on to something here. Want to try it out and see...?
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