Thursday, February 04, 2010


Imagine a novel in which a woman took in a stranger who was unable to walk or talk or even eat by himself. She fell completely in love with him at first sight, fed and clothed and washed him, gradually helped him to become competent and independent, spent more than half her income on him, nursed him through sickness, and thought about him more than about anything else. And after twenty years of this she helped him find a young wife and move far away. You couldn't bear the sappiness of it. But that, quite simply, is just about every mother's story. And it's also the story of every human community–every constellation of mothers and fathers and socially monogamous mates, every group of siblings and babysitters and [alloparents]. It's not so much that we care for children because we love them as that we love them because we care for them. . .

Alison Gopnik, The Philosophical Baby

"Attention is the most concrete expression of love. What you pay attention to thrives."