The Didactic Express

If there’s one thing that I truly hate about children’s television programs (North American ones in particular) it is this: the bizarre need to shoehorn a moral lesson for the child to learn into every episode.

Anyone who grew-up in Canada or the United States during the last twenty-five years knows what I’m talking about: the inevitable “Dear Princess Celestia” epilogue, which tells you about the importance of recycling pop bottles, not discriminating against minorities, and respecting your elders, because, of course, “knowing is half the battle!”

To me, this has always seemed both condescending and inane. Condescending because it supposes that children are too stupid to figure out moral lessons embedded in stories, inane because it supposes that moral instruction should be done primarily by means of watching television.

But it also caused me to wonder: what if someone tried doing this in real life? What if someone sat down at the end of each day, and tried to work out a moral lesson from their experiences? Would that person emerge from such a practice as a better, more moral human being? Or would they in fact come to the conclusion that there is no moral order to the universe, and take to stealing cars and robbing convenience stores?

I don’t know, but I intend to find out. For the next thirty days it is my intention to parse through my daily experiences, searching for any moral lesson that I can find–no matter how stupid, contradictory, or well-hidden.

About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
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3 Responses to The Didactic Express

  1. I bet you will find some!
    I heard a story once from a friend of some rich guy in the midwest who had tons of money, and he would dress in simple clothes and hitch hike, always going from town to a house up high on a mountain and far away. Whoever did actually pick him up would get some type of financial reward just by surprise, not having realized until then that this person had anything to offer.
    I see that as sort of the flip side of the coin, where some people live their lives as moral lessons, at least in part, to inspire others. I have no idea if that story is true, but I do think about it sometimes as just a reminder that I never know where people are coming from, and if I can easily help, then I try to, in most cases.
    I find that when I try to get moral lessons from life, they usually boil down to:
    Take chances with blind faith sometimes when you feel driven, be nice to people even if you feel scared, and have absolutely no plan at least once in awhile because that is when some magic can have room to happen.

  2. This sounds like an absolutely brilliant idea. I’m now envious I didn’t think of it first because I can be didactic while I sleep.

    Shit, why do I never come up with such brilliant ideas?

  3. Pingback: Class Differences « Clarissa's Blog

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