Today is the First birthday of our grandson. What an exciting year it has been!
With Facetime, Skype and other communication tools helping us to keep in constant touch , one would not expect any surprises when you see someone after a long gap. Does the lack of physical proximity and the missing sense of touch make a difference? Indeed, it appears that it does and it seems that the difference is more for the child than us, but it does exist for both. Be that as it may, even if you “see” the child almost everyday, nothing prepares you for the thrill of tactile as well as face-to-face experience.
One expects that since the child had been seeing you everyday, he would jump from his parent’s arms on to you without hesitation, and when that happens only after some delay, you ask, why? But, the exhilaration is to be felt to be believed. Neither is one prepared for the almost daily changes in the child’s cognitive and physical skills. Sometimes one wonders, how does a child learn? How is it that suddenly it seems he starts crawling or standing up and one fine day starts walking without support. What makes some toddlers do some of these things sooner than others? Do one year olds have worries like their parents? Do they think to themselves: OMG, that kid who was born 10 days after me has already started walking, whereas I am barely able to crawl.
I am sure pediatrics science has answers such questions but won’t be surprised if each study designed to find answers to such questions raises more questions than it answers. For example, how does a baby learn to recognize its parents at an early age? But, that raises the question: How do we know that the baby has indeed recognized its mom or dad?
Now, why do we ask such questions? Even more puzzling is: why do humans spend the time and resources to answer such questions, which do not seem to have any material consequences? (See) . From time immemorial, humans have been curious, sometimes just because of the joy and satisfaction one gets in solving a problem, sometimes because the answers lead to a better world. Once we have the answers and they can be targeted at benefiting humanity, obviously it is important to capitalize on our new-found knowledge, for example, by converting the answers into the development of useful interventions for combatting medical problems.
That brings us back to our ongoing struggle to make the benefits of developments in medical science reach those who are desperately in need of it, but just cannot afford it? Is it ethical to allow such a phenomenon to prevail? Consider the turmoil that is about to be unleashed by the end of Obamacare. Most people seem to have reconciled themselves to the inevitability of its demise.How can we combat this palpable apathy and indifference?
How can we make the world a better place for my grandson?