Monday, March 10, 2014

Today's dummy culture

Why do all babies seem to need dummies now? This question often occurs to me as I watch babies passing me on the street, all lustily sucking on dummies, or as I watch parents shove a dummy back into their offspring’s mouth even when the baby is not crying out for it.  Years ago, dummies were frowned upon;  it was thought instead that if babies cried they should be given the warm nipple with its natural supply of comforting food rather than the unpleasant cold plastic variety which gives a baby nothing, however much the baby tries to suck from it.

I find it interesting to speculate why the dummy has become such a universal accessory to a baby’s life.  It worries me that babies now grow up being sold an illusion, tempted to believe, as the dummy goes in the mouth and stimulates the sucking reflex, that it will provide food, whilst it does nothing of the kind.  It is a bit as though you offer somebody what appears to be a sweet in a lovely wrapping, only for them to find when the wrapping is undone that there is nothing inside after all.  It can surely not be healthy to keep on disappointing a baby in this way.

It is little wonder then that so many people have problems relating to food in their later life, since all eating habits start in childhood, as we know.  In five element terms, this shapes a person’s relationship to their Earth element, the mother element.  The provision of nourishment for her child, which is a mother’s first task, should always be associated with  the love and warmth of being held close to a mother, not the stuffing of a surrogate plastic nipple into a baby’s mouth.

As I watch babies sucking feverishly on their dummies, my heart bleeds for what this is doing to the development of their Earth element, and their capacity to nourish themselves later in life.  And perhaps, too, this goes some way to explain the sight of so many adults streaming along the road to work, all carrying their dummy-replacements, a plastic cup of coffee, as though they, too, have been brainwashed since childhood by the need to have something, anything, in their mouth to suck on.

Just as babies can’t nowadays seem to do without a dummy, so adults can’t seem to do without a cup of coffee in the hand.




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