Before the age of five or even before the age of any kind of language, our whole being is guided by the child within – probably because we ARE a child. We are being programmed by the adults around us, for the sake of argument let us call them parents. They use reward and punishment to teach us their perception of right and wrong. Whether their right and wrong is really right or wrong, we carry for the rest of our lives.
But like every other child we carry within us a demon, a fierce inquisitive thing with a desire for mischief. It’s the thing that makes us wonder what bogey’s taste like, what it feels like to wear a bowl of custard like a hat, what happens if you set fire to the cat, or what it is like to scribble scrabble our hands in the alphabet spaghetti dinner. The parents reaction to this can blight our lives, a shriek of “NO!” or a smack of a pudgy hand does not dispel the demon, it makes it bitter, resentful and it cowers in the dark corner of our being waiting for revenge. Befriend it, play with it, and it grows to become playfulness, comedy and a sense of mischievous good humour. Crush it and one day many years later it will come back and scramble your life like it did your dinner.