Saturday, May 05, 2007

Wisdom from Vonnegut

I'm pretty sure I have read all of Vonnegut's published works now, after having checked out "God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian" from the library a couple of weeks ago. He wrote many times on the idea that people in our society are terribly lonely due to the breakdown of the extended family system. I was particularly struck by part of what he wrote on that topic in this book:

I met a man in Nigeria one time, an Ibo who had six hundred relatives he knew quite well. His wife had just had a baby, the best possible news in any extended family.

They were going to take it to meet all its relatives, Ibos of all ages and sizes and shapes. It would even meet other babies, cousins not much older than it was. Everybody who was big enough and steady enough was going to get to hold it, cuddle it, gurgle to it, and say how pretty it was, or handsome.

Wouldn't you have loved to be that baby?

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