I’ve always had this weird habit of trying to interpret words or signs or symbols in different ways. Or ponder about the different things they could mean. Or why they are framed how they are. But I never had anyone to confer with- not about my thoughts or theories- about these kind of things.
For example, when you read an emotional book or see an emotional movie, why do people use the term ‘crying like a baby’? I mean, a baby cries for more need-based things like food, or poop, or water. And babies bawl on the top of their voices. But when you see or read anything emotional, it’s because you understand the depth of emotions or you relate with the character or plot. A baby can’t. And you sob or weep silently. A baby doesn’t. SO, on what basis do you say ‘crying like a baby’?
And then I found a person I could actually ask these kind of things to share with. I asked a teacher of mine. My English teacher, one of the best I’ve met. She said the basis of relation for ‘crying like a baby’ is the fact that a baby cries uncontrollably, without thought about who’s watching. Just as we do, in emotional scenarios.
Today, I asked her – If you see pictures of people giving something to anyone, even in the slightest philosophical sense, the hands of the Giver are placed palm-down over the Taker’s. Always. And always, I wondered why. How does it matter how you take it? Taking is still taking. The Taker gains something and the Giver loses something.
So she said that it matters because of the ‘attitude’. The Taker is below the Giver. Because the Giver has, and is willingly giving. The Taker doesn’t have, and is the one benefiting from the Giver’s benevolence. It was about the attitude. If the Taker places himself above the Giver, then he is impertinent, and the vice-versa makes him humble.
I asked her another thing I had personally experienced and was more culture oriented. Indian mothers and grandmothers have the habit of taking the child in their folded lap and gently bobbing his head on one knee. Simultaneously, they would sing a lullaby and gently pat the child’s head in rhythm with the song and bobbing. The children always slept immediately to a sound sleep. I was too big and old now to fit into the lap, so these winter vacations I placed my head in my grandmother’s lap. She did that bobbing-singing-patting thing, and I feel into a dreamless sleep (rare for me). Why was this so comforting to a child?
Her answer- The movement is similar to the movement a child experiences in the mother’s womb due to the mother’s movement in her daily life. The gentle patting was also something the child was used to, due to bumping around in the mother’s womb. Also, there are arteries that run in the lining of the stomach. The mother’s strong heartbeat are also something that cause the bumping movement in the womb, therefore adding on to the safety that the child feels by the patting. So, for the child, this way of sleeping was as if it were back in the womb. Comforting. It also applies to older people, because it temporarily transports you to the womb. Safe.
What do you think?