Parakeets, corporations and Toddler Property Laws

Since some guy out there has got two women instead of just the one as decreed by the 50-50 birth ratio of males and females, there is no woman available for me; so I need to be content with the companionship of a computer and a pair of parakeets.

The computer and I have come to an understanding: if I play by its rules, it does a splendid job; it is up to me to figure out what the computer's rules or laws are, however. Fortunately, the suppliers of computers and software have found that customers prefer user-friendly computers and their software.

The parakeets, however, are something else. Trying to figure out their operational laws of behavior keeps coming up with surprises. Finally I remembered seeing, several years ago, a list of rules about little kid's belief systems, that might help me understand the parakeet's behavior.

I had to ask others who are more into the preschool teaching field, about the details of that list, so I could see if it applied to my parakeet companions. Here is what was sent me, as a result:
Toddler Property Laws

1. If I like it, it's MINE.

2. If it's in my hand, it's MINE.

3. If it's in your hand, it's MINE.

4. If I can take it from you, it's MINE.

5. If I had it a little while ago, it's MINE.

6. If it's MINE, it must never appear to be yours in any way.

7. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are MINE.

8. If it looks just like MINE, it is MINE.

9. If I saw it first, it's MINE.

10. If I was thinking about it first, it's MINE.

11. If you are playing with something that I was playing with a long time ago, it automatically becomes MINE.

12. No one can play or touch anything that is MINE.
Yes, those operational principles help explain the interactions of the two parakeets with each other and with other things. Including with me.

Another more uncomfortable awareness growing is that it also too well describes much of the interactions between corporations, too. And some grown adults or groups of people. So it seems to explain a lot, if it is root behavior among peers, upon which refinements are built as people grow up - haphazardly learned refinements.

I know that the list of "toddler property laws" was written to amuse people. But they too well describe some other behaviors, so it goes beyond amusement's usefulness.

Since I had no peers with whom to interact until I was past the toddler stage, maybe 4 or 5, I missed experiencing this, myself. So it is helpful to know it now, at least intellectually, to help me understand people, to have a better idea of what might be expected of various others. And of my parakeets. ----------------

One person involved with gathering up this particular list of toddler property laws for me, evaluated the overall scenario much better than I have, so I will copy it here, without naming the author:

"… I also believe, as do you, that it explains a lot about animals AND people of all ages. It is so sad to see the behavior in older children and adults. In children there is hope for teaching and the child's development. In people we can hope for the maturation and development of the adult.

Unfortunately our society has equated education and/or corporate success with common sense and good social skills. Said in a different way, the sins we see in the toddler only manifest themselves in the adult also. Hopefully the adult has decided to live with the gifts that God has given us - that brings out the best in ourselves.

Your two parakeets may not have developed past the two year old stage of emotional development that we see in the human being. We see this in people who have been severely traumatized and can't get past that emotional age. We also see it in human beings who because of a developmental delay never seem to grow past a certain emotional level.

The behavior of corporations, in my opinion, is really based on the people who run the corporations. But, I agree with you. The list of "Toddler Property Laws", although funny puts into words what we all know to be true but don't face. It's easier to face them in light of 2 year olds. The good parent takes them to heart and teaches the child the opposite, which is good social skills, empathy and friendship./and, personally, I don't think that parent is untouched by the teaching of these lessons."

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