"The modern pacifier"

Giving My Bones to the Western LandsA pacifier is a rubber, plastic, or silicone nipple substitute given to an infant or toddler to suckle upon between feedings to quiet its distress by satisfying the need to suck when it does not need to eat. In the old days in Sweden, children were given a piece of cloth soaked in liquor distilled from potatoes, grain, or wood cellulose to suck on when they were distressed, hungry or starving. It was an effective method. They fell asleep without any complaint. Unfortunately, this was achieved at the cost of serious side effects. It was ignorance back then that made them do it. But are we really more enlightened today? We have moved up in the Maslow's hierarchy of needs and nowadays the need for comfort has been replaced by dopamine-driven reward circuitry. We have become mobile or tablet slaves. In a TV news feature from Arlanda airport (Stockholm) two kids were spotted in a sibling carriage, wearing earphones and staring deadpan at their tablets. They were totally absorbed and uncontactable. They might as well be sedated. Maybe their loving parents were prescient and wanted to achieve a smooth boarding process and press the green smiley face to help improve the airport customer experience. What do I know? I'm only a civil servant with an internet connection. Adults seem to have lost their patience these days, especially parents. It doesn't take a lot of complaining, nagging and crying before the modern pacifier is brought out of hiding. No perseverance whatsoever. It's a deficiency with consequences. Perseverance build character.  

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