Meditation on Fear and Fiction

“Fairytales teach children that the world is fraught with danger, including life-threatening danger; but by being clever (always), honest (as a rule, but with common-sense exceptions), courteous (especially to the elderly, no matter their apparent social station), and kind (to anyone in obvious need), even a child can succeed where those who seem more qualified have failed.

And this precisely what children most need to hear.

To let them go on believing that the world is safe, that they will be provided for and achieve worthwhile things even if they remain stupid, shirk integrity, despise courtesy, and act only from self-interest, that they ought to rely on those stronger, smarter, and more able to solve their problems, would be the gravest disservice: to them, and to society as a whole.

“On the Supposed Unsuitability of Fairytales for Children”
J. Aleksandr Wootton

children's adventures

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