Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Call them young people, not kids or children

Often—though not always, age is just a number

The truth is that our young offspring and pupils are not ‘future people’ or ‘humans to be,’ but rather already all-human, priceless, worthy of respect.

Yes, some things are especially unfit for younger people’s less-mature brains. Driving a car, having sex with an adult, drinking alcohol. But don’t generalize that to everything they want and could use doing and knowing.

***

But, children are so tiny and weak still. Clearly underdeveloped humans.

Ever tried to get something from baby hands when s/he didn’t want to let go of it? Or heard babies crying a block away before they were intimidated?

***

My house, my dog, and my child? Is that why s/he should do and succeed in the things you didn’t get to?

When people asked: “Is that your child?” I always answered: “No, but I’m the father.” They are our responsibility, not possessions. If I never got what I truly wanted, the best follow-up is them getting what they truly want.

***

So, you didn’t get enough empathy, respect, patience, closeness, care from the people who raised you? So, how can this be expected of you?

All these things can be learned. Practice until they become second (rather: first) nature. Not your children but you will be the first beneficiary of that.

Most women feel degradation when they are called cute. So, why do we dare to minimize young people and call them cute?

We can still appreciate them out loud without patronizing them as cute.

***

We go to jail if we go around beating people up. So, why do many grownups defend hitting (and punishing) young people?

Instead of confusing them by being critical and violent, why not ask them why they did something we disagree with? If still needed after that, we can explain why we don’t think so. Living with our pain-laden selves is hard enough. And, try to catch your children/students doing something right.

***

We are impossible if we’d go around commandeering everyone around us. Even good bosses and G^d ask questions and allow for feedback. So, why do so many think that bossing around our children and students is OK?

We don’t need them obedient. They’re so ready to collaborate. But, they may have different ideas from us so, we must listen to fulfill our part of the deal and unite with them. (Obedience is only for emergencies and needs an apology afterward.) It is typically possible to negotiate compromises.

No sober grownup defends ridiculing simple, ignorant people. Then, why would we get to mock young people when they lack some knowledge?

Many grownups forgot key ideas and principles. Listening to young people, we can reconnect to vital things like gratefulness, crying, and having fun.

***

Do you want your apprentices to be friendly, upbeat, and responsible? Are you sure that is what you model all day?

We must walk the talk and be humble, happy, and productive all day long.

***

This is how I tried to be a parent, thanks to Judaism (Moses), Non-Violent Communication (Rosenberg), and Re-Evaluation Counseling (Jackins). Try.

Not only am I pleased about my efforts. I still enjoy meeting young people, trying to be humane to them and getting respect and closeness in return.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 1400 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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