Human Nature: Mothers with baby girls
Today in my Ethics class, I presented college students with the following: There are 10 young women with 2 ½ year old girls and they belong to two groups. These two groups are quite different and one day they encounter each other for the first time. I then asked the class to write a description of what they think would happen.
Without an exception all 20 students—from multiple countries and ethnic backgrounds, as well as male and female—said very similar things: the women would engage with each other, share their experiences of mothering, and watch their children play together. The “other” in other words, was not the enemy, the competitor, the aggressor, or any of the other images that dominate many conversations about human nature.
Some time ago, Virginia Held suggested that we take the image of the mother and child as our image of humanity. It will be a great day when we follow her advice.