Are you sure you should be doing that?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Imitation

The child looked about him, watching with keen impressionable eyes what the grown-ups were doing and how they were spending the morning. Not a single detail escaped the child’s searching attention: the picture of his home life was being indelibly stamped on his memory; his pliable mind was nurtured on the examples before him, unconsciously planning his own life after the pattern of the life around him.

Ivan Goncharov – Oblamov (1859)

The greater part of life is imitation. We have other names for it such as learning, reasoning and intelligence, but at the core of it all lies imitation. Sometimes we are almost original but the opportunity is given to us only rarely. Free will may be real enough, but is far from being the norm.

How could things possibly be otherwise? Life would be chaotic...

Hmm...

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4 comments:

Paddington said...

When I teach martial arts, I sometimes say one thing, and do another. The kids will invariably try to copy what I did, not what I said to do.

Sackerson said...

Great quotation!

A K Haart said...

Paddington - that's an interesting observation. Behaviour which predates language perhaps. Or maybe it's just the safer course of action - or both.

Sackers - glad you like it. The book isn't a page-turner though.

Paddington said...

AK - I suspect that this is the case. After all, it appears to be how our animals learn.