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Update: February 20th, 2014

Apparently, the Jesuits used to have a saying: “Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man”.

The meaning is simple, our characters are shaped in our early years.  We are not a “blank sheet of paper”, waiting to be written on … we already have experiences and knowledge which we use to help shape our understanding of the world around us.  They give us a framework, a set of templates, which we can use when encountering new situations and experiences to try and make sense of them.

These experiences go back beyond our conscious memories, even back into the womb – and, some people suggest, even beyond as we inherit behaviours from our ancestors.  I remember that, when I was studying to be a schoolteacher, the importance that was placed in the course on the early bonding between mother and child … at the time I didn’t understand why we had to study this, and resented it to a certain extent, because I saw it as a waste of my time.  I was training to teach in Secondary Schools where the pupils are aged 11 to 19 – so why was it necessary to learn about infant development and mother-infant bonding?  As I have grown older, (and I hope wiser), I have come to see that things aren’t as simple as, in my naivety, I thought they were.

So, in order to understand a person or a situation you need to know something about what went before. As the National Geographic television programme, “Seconds from Disaster”, tells us: accidents don’t just happen, they are the culmination, the climax, of a series of circumstances and events which combine to create the situation … in the case of the programme, the disaster or accident they are about to explore.

That’s the idea behind this section of the website where you will find some background information about:

Hopefully, this will help to put my comments and observations into context.

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