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We Could Make a Society in Which People Cared

Penelope Leach

There are no laws governing human decision-making. Within wide limits we can choose what kind of society we want to have and it is still open to us to make one which is for people to manage and enjoy.

...We could make a society in which people cared enough about people to realize the primacy of new people.

We could make that a society in which those who chose to produce new people knew what being parents must involve.

We could ensure that the job those self-selected parents did was recognized and rewarded with a place at the top of our status hierarchy and our priorities' list.

We could teach everyone to recognize that inconvenience or unhappiness in the lives of parents reflects badly on their children who will be parents themselves next time around, and we could train professionals to devote themselves to helping parents through, rather than out of, the early years of child-care.

We could recognize that while child-care is for parents, parent-care is for everyone.

It could all happen. As a society of self-determining, interlinked human beings, we have the power to make it happen. But it will only happen if we believe that babies' and small children's development depends on their happiness and that their happiness depends on their 'special' adults. And if we believe that their development and happiness matters. And if we care.