H. and I talked about

H. and I talked about “being famous” this morning on the way to school. If I want to study subjectivity, the only way to really do it is to expose my own, which – by default – means exposing information about those I have relationships with or encounter. What are my ethical obligations to these “others”?
For instance, I want to use real names. Would that violate others’ privacy? To what extent is it legitimate for me to reveal my own empirical experiences without transgressing another’s sense of propriety? And who made up all these rules and what purposes do they serve? Anonymity is arguably “good” for some things, while openness and transparency (to the extent this is ever possible) accomplishes other valid goals.
Despite everything she’s been through, H. is a really grounded kid. She has access to her own emotions and she pays attention to them, as well as to those of others. This morning she said she thought she had some “special gifts” because of the struggles between her biological parents, and she listed several that I’m still trying to develop at 40! They included standing up for herself and others, and caring about people’s feelings. She’s so mature, yet at the same time she knows she’s still a kid. Such balance!
Anyway, her goals are modest: being popular within a circle of friends, but not needing to make loads of money or be in the media. She stated some boundaries between what she thinks ought to be “private” and what is ok to be shared – I’m going to have to work hard to honor. She’s adopted her mother’s family’s mode of (non)-inquiry and her father’s penchant for secrets – both of which are practically anathema to me. But, they often say kids have the clearest vision about ethics, so we’ll see how an 8-year-old framework succeeds as the initial boundaries for this self-study. 🙂
I’m off to borrow the neighbor’s riding mower as today is the last rainless day for the next several days…(wah)

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