Cuteness Evolved

kitten

This illusion we call life is getting trickier and trickier the more we look at it. You know the reason why we universally find this kitten adorable?

So we don’t bash its head in.

It gets cuter inside.

We must perceive little adults as cute, precious and immensely squeezable little objects to insure that we go to extraordinary measures to protect them. Everything about them screams vulnerability. Even people who do not have kids of their own respect this vulnerability. Single people don’t roam the streets looking for kids to punch. Why is this? Why when we find out an adult has harmed a child we ALL are ready to devour that person? This is a powerful protection to have. It brings out the most intense fear we know. But why is it necessary?

Simple. If we do not endure a sacrifice (caring for someone other than ourselves) we would not be able to pass on the wisdom of selflessness to other generations. Also, we must inform others of the joy having kids brings. Sex doesn’t just feel good so we make babies. If that were the case what would then inspire us to care for them? Why do we become so intrinsically “linked” to beings that are independent of us? For a nine month period we nurse them and when they are ready they exit. But what drives them out? Something must be shot in (there’s that universal motif again) for the baby to shoot out. The contractions that happen a few days before are a reminder, but what brings them on? Where is this “driving force” coming from? The mother, the mother’s body and the baby all just know it’s time. Is it a miracle? Not really. It’s just this and also this—during the contractions oxytocin is released. Oxytocin facilitates the birthing process and also helps to prepare the mother to care for her newborn child. Fascinating stuff.

FROM SACRIFICE TO A LIFE FULFILLED
Children need our protection because we need to experience selflessness and they need to experience an intense love. This love must be experienced so that later in life when they are looking to start families of their own they choose a mate who they fall intensely in love with. Then the process gets going all over again.

If children are not provided with sufficient TLC while they grow their chances of survival are slim. This is why they don’t pop out of the womb looking like a middle-aged Abraham Lincoln. Look, here’s how it gets down: we go from vulnerable baby to not so vulnerable and more aware child to adolescent where we become suddenly aware of our impending sexuality (this is an awkward period, painful “explosion” taking place). We go from there to young adulthood, starting to sort things out a bit, we really get to know ourselves here. College, away from parents, finding your own way—a lot of experimentation takes place here. From there we move on up to middle age or the apex. As we move down from the apex the teenage awkwardness we suffered due to the painful explosion is countered by middle-age awkwardness due to a painful implosion. Just as in our teenage years we overcompensate for the crippling insecurity a violently evolving body inspires. Next up or down if you’re viewing this as a triangle, we begin to lose awareness and return to a completely vulnerable state. Now in this state shouldn’t we be cared for just as we were when we were babies? You would think, but it’s not that simple. See, unlike babies, elderly people have that legacy bit to deal with. If you mistreated people in your past chances are you will “die” sad and alone and no one will attend your funeral. On the other hand, if you were a beaming light of positive energy you will undoubtedly be surrounded by friends and family. Even though it may seem so, this Pearly Gates-like judgment isn’t fair. When you pass through your mother’s womb you came from an infinite legacy, yet no one judged you because you came in relatively little and new and you looked just like your parents and you were just so damn cute. It’s the wool over the eyes baby, but it has to be this way or else there would be no way.

Photo courtesy of these folks.

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