On April 2, 2011 my daughter gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. I put a photo of the little darling on my Facebook page with the caption, “This is my new granddaughter. Cute Huh?” Within seconds the comments and “likes” started coming in. Within 24 hours I received dozens of complimentary messages from old friends and people I don’t really know all over the world. People who had never corresponded with me in any way, shape or form in the past suddenly found me interesting and felt the need to comment on my granddaughter. They said wonderful things like, “she is so beautiful”; “she is absolutely precious”; “so adorable”; “priceless,” to name a few. People sent me emails and stopped me in the street to congratulate me, almost as if I had been the one that gave birth. As I pondered this sudden and unexpected notoriety, I asked myself the following questions:
• Why is that people of all ages, races, cultures and genders are so attracted to babies?
• Why would people who never communicated with me before want to communicate with me just because my daughter had a baby?
• What is it about a baby that causes such immediate outpourings of emotion from people who don’t even know the baby or its parents?
• Why do people wish the best of everything to the family members of a new baby whether they know them or not?
Now please don’t get me wrong...I have appreciated and enjoyed every one of the kind comments I have received but I have to think that the answers to these questions are rooted in psychology. Babies after all, serve little purpose immediately after their entry into the world. They really just spend their time being extra work for their mothers and fathers as they develop and mature. Most people do not enjoy changing diapers, late-night feedings, or screaming fits but all of those things are forgotten whenever a baby smiles or makes a funny noise. People who are excited by the birth of another person’s baby have deliberately forgotten about the challenges of baby-rearing and are instead overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the miracle and wonder of birth. Babies bring joy to all who view them and their mere presence is cause for celebration. Here are some reasons why babies would make better world-leaders than adults do:
1. Babies are totally trustworthy. They are incapable of deceit, malice or guile.
2. Babies are always cute despite their physical appearance. They are far too precious to ever be considered ugly.
3. Babies speak badly of no one. Their speech is limited to short, unintelligible blurbs that are always assumed to be positive.
4. Babies bring such joy to their families that other people want to share in the emotional outpouring.
5. Babies provide a positive image of the present. They have no history and their future always looks bright.
6. Babies are not selfish, arrogant or greedy. They will not learn those things for years to come.
7. Babies are helpless and in need of nurturing. Most adults achieve great satisfaction from nurturing others.
8. Babies are loved by everyone. Only the worst human beings would actually dislike a baby.
9. Babies never argue or criticize. They must be trained to do that by their peers and parents.
10. Babies provide adults with a much more positive view of the world than they can possibly garner from other adults.
These observations brought me to the realization that babies represent the best of the human race. If you re-read the ten items above, you will soon recognize some traits that we would like to see in our bosses, leaders, spouses, friends and family members. It is clear that if everyone on earth possessed those qualities, we would seldom have fights, arguments, wars or any other form of strife. If babies ruled the world, there would be no stress, no psychosis, no psychosomatic illness and very little need for psychiatric help.
Of course, I know that physical and intellectual limitations would prevent babies from actually ruling the world as it is today. However, wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if more adults dropped their guards of defensiveness, their walls of egoism, their images of importance, their need to be better than others and simply learned to be kinder, gentler people?
Babies just want to live, to learn, and to love. Why can’t we all be like that?
We can all learn something from babies. The next time you see a newborn baby, think about the joy that they bring just by being in the world. Imagine how we could all benefit from living life with the simple, untainted qualities of our tiniest human beings.
In the words of my children: “Babies Rule!”
All the Best